Foraging, as listed by the Oxford Dictionary, is to “search widely for food and provisions.’
In New Zealand, we can forage for food in many environments. From the mountains to the forests, on, in and around our coastlines, our rivers, our town parks, even our own backyards.
Whilst traditionally foragers focused on the wild ingredients growing in these areas nowadays there are plenty of options available in our cities.
NZChefs are supporting a National Foraging day to celebrate provenance and foraging as a whole.
This day is about looking locally at what is available around you and sustainably hand-picking ingredients in order to create a meal. This could include catching a snapper, digging for tuatuas, hunting a deer, a wild pig, picking blackberries, seaweeds, edible flowers, vegetables form your nana’s garden or even those unwanted foodstuffs from the supermarkets.
There are many foragers out there already celebrating this. The intention is not to re-invent the wheel but to bring the national foraging community and NZChefs together on 1 day.
To advance education for the public including schools and technical institutes and offer advice and training on how to be sustainable and environmentally friendly when creating dishes using hand chosen ingredients that live and grow amongst us.
March seems to be a good time of year that would cover most facets of foraging. Photosynthesis is still good, sea and river temperatures are still warm and of course, the settled weather will enable us to get out there.
NZChefs have set the date for third weekend of March each year with the Sunday being NZChefs National Foraging Day. In 2020 this will be the 14th and 15th March, with the 15th being NZChefs National Foraging day.
The lead up and activity around the day will include identifying our foraging heroes, competitions, educational workshops, guided tours, foraging activities and foraged lunch with live feeds taking place from around the regions.