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#ForagingFriday (week 19) What is wild anyway?

Posted 11/5/2018

It’s a question I’ve found myself asking a lot recently, when I’ve stumbled across some edible in the middle of nowhere that was clearly once cultivated by human hand (or at least the parent plant must have been). Just because I found it growing without help can I claim it as a wild food worthy of writing about?

I turned to my old friend the dictionary for some clarity on the matter.

 

Wild [wahyld]

adjective

- living in a state of nature; not tamed or domesticated: a wild animal; wild geese.

- growing or produced without cultivation or the care of humans, as plants, flowers, fruit, or honey: wild cherries.

- uncultivated, uninhabited, or waste: wild country.

-to grow unchecked.

 

It seems then, if it’s happily growing without support or human intervention then it’s wild - enough to please me anyhow! Perhaps ‘feral’ would be a better word to use in many cases but it feels like splitting hairs.

 

When I get to thinking about it, almost every plant we class as native these days has it’s origin somewhere else if we get to tracing it far enough (just like us human inhabitants too!)... In that case I’ll just stick to some of the more unusual or exotic species you might stumble across on your wanderings and like me wonder if they’re useful to you. It’s rather exiting isn’t it?!

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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