by Peter Croft and Dinali Devasagaym
The Grow Grow Grow Your Own group ran a Foraging workshop on 20 August 2017 with guest presenter Kate Grigg. It was a terrific event with 60 people turning out on a cold, overcast afternoon to find out more about out edible weeds, including several who came all the way from Ballywire, a farm near Edithburgh on Yorke Peninsula.
Anne Wilson led a lively Q&A session about problems faced by gardeners, then Kate took us for a tour of the grounds of Fullarton Park. Within 15 metres we found our first edible weed, chickweed, followed within metres by dandelions, milk thistle, shepherds purse (a brassica), prickly lettuce, mallow, flick weed, nasturtiums, peppercorns from the pepper tree and smooth mustard. All edible and highly nutritious. I was most surprised to know that mallow makes a good spinach alternative!
While Kate does not suggest we actively grow these plants, as many of them are serious problems in native bushland and on farm properties, it makes a lot of sense to harvest and eat the ones that pop up on their own in our gardens.
The group will present a follow up session with Kate in May 2018. Stay tuned for a date.