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my name is Gea, I have been living in Amsterdam since 4 years, but I grow up in the Italian Countryside.
Despite growing up in a lush environment, rich in biodiversity and growing wild foods, my foraging knowledge and practice was limited to picking blackberries, figs and crushing pine nuts in summer, and going for chestnuts in autumn.
I was not aware of the laws regulating wild picking there. I just discovered some rules limiting the quantity of foraged goods that can be picked per person: from 1 to 3 kg per person (which seems a lot to me!)
Foods such wild asparagus or Truffles and Porcini mushrooms have indeed become precious commodities, and people are often hunting for them, moved by greed and toxic competition, rather than respect and collaboration.
It never really occurred to me that I was ‘foraging’: nibbling on a fruit during a walk or hunting for pine cones seemed spontaneous, mundane activities.
Only recently, I started noticing and being intrigued by many other weeds, flowers and fruits that inhabit the same spaces as me, but that I never really considered.
In Amsterdam, I live in West and in my free time I like wondering around and looking out for new species. Browsing around Rembrandt Park, Niewemeer or behind the train tracks of Westerpark So far, I never spontaneously encountered any other fellow forager. Maybe it is the moment to bring some foraging spirit towards this end of the city!