Valentina Mandozzi

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  • in reply to: Foraging 12: Plant allies #9465
    Valentina Mandozzi
    Participant

    Hi everyone!
    I really love this idea of choosing a plant ally and develop a connection while building knowledge and familiarity with it. The hard part is: choosing THE ONE!
    I currently have at least two plants that are my allies: Rosemary and Stinging Nettle.
    I love them so much for how basic and straightforward are, but at the same time so incredibly useful and versatile.
    I have a plant of Rosemary on my balcony that I check regularly: yes, it’s a common herb and it doesn’t require any particular care and it doesn’t go through many changes between seasons, but every time I pass next to it, I can’t help it but touch some branches and enjoy its recharging scent. Wherever I’ve lived, it’s always been the first plant I added to the house.
    The love for Stinging Nettle is more recent: I’ve started to know it in my recent learnings about foraging and I didn’t know how many useful properties it had. Every time I find some on my path (in a safe spot), I always bring it home for some risotto and other dishes. I didn’t identify yet a Stinging Nettle spot so close to my house that I could visit regularly, but I’m planning on sowing some seeds on my balcony once it warms up a bit. 🙂

    in reply to: Foraging 14: Light Harvesting #9461
    Valentina Mandozzi
    Participant

    Hi!
    I mostly have a vegetarian diet (besides a few occasional weaknesses), so my daily vegetable intake is quite high. In weight, it could be around 0.5kg or maybe more. I find it hard to think that I would be able to forage the same amount on a daily basis, especially living in an urban area.
    In Amsterdam, i doubt i would be able to forage more than a few herbs occasionally. However, having spent a few months in Italy in a rural area, I was able to find much more variety even in winter times, which allowed me to prepare full meals (and different courses) for my family. That was exciting and surprising: but would I be able to do it every day? Would it even be sustainable if everyone would do the same?
    My goal would be to be able to be self-sufficient one day by balancing foraging for wild herbs, nuts and mushroom and my own produce from my garden (really looking forward to have one). That way I can control what I eat and not exploit too much the surroundings.

    Valentina Mandozzi
    Participant

    Hi everyone!
    I’m Valentina and I live in de Jordaan, in Amsterdam. I’m from the countryside in Italy, where the tradition of grandmas going out to look for wild herbs was quite common, with extremely tasty results. Although that practice and knowledge is getting lost with those grandmas today and, after been living in cities for many years, I feel the need to get some of that knowledge back.
    I cannot go back to Italy every weekend to forage local herbs, but extremely happy to have found this course, so I can learn what’s most common in Amsterdam first.
    I’ve only been picking herbs (some wild garlic and nettle for now) in Frankendaelpark, thanks to Lynn, but I wonder if there’s other places closer to this part of the city that are safe and clean.
    Westerpark is so crowded usually that I can rarely spot any green between people and it doesn’t look very clean. Maybe you know if there’s some part of it that are better?

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