A forest camp

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Two friends of mine and I have been working on establishing an ecological business, A Forest Camp, for adults, family groups, businesses and organisations. 

Campers will be asked to come by public transport to Daylesford and walk into the bush with their forest guides (that's us!). Over a weekend (or longer, depending on the group) they will eat a non-packaged, locavore vegetarian diet of locally sourced organic food (and some foraged foods, depending on the season). Campers have the option of building their own shelter or sleeping in a tent. They will be able to learn how to make fire and many other bush skills, if they desire. But mostly this camp is to provide the space for people to be students of a forest and rejuvenate their senses.

The image above shows my fingers about to pick and eat an unripe native cherry (Exocarpos cupressiformis). Still edible when yellow, though when they turn red they're delicious.

Please check out the site and spread the word. 


A small video-poem concerning agriculture and well-being

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I wrote this poem and took the footage roughly a year ago when in Mole Creek (Tasmania) visiting family. I finished editing it yesterday. Enjoy!


A ten minute crash course in edible fungi

Friday, May 25, 2012

Two new friends that I met through the community gardens, Dave and Doug (and Doug's lovely son Malachi), came out foraging with me yesterday in pine forest plantations on the edge of town. I asked Dave if he would film our little excursion so we could make a beginner's guide to foraging edible mushrooms.

Identification is critical before consuming 'shrooms. Books and static images are not often enough to identify accurately. I hope this little video document provides enough tips to get you started. And remember, if you're not 100% sure, trust your instincts and do not eat it.

For much of my fungal knowledge attained thus far I owe to my friend Alison Pouliot, who runs courses in south-eastern Australia in autumn every year. Thanks Alison!


Another community food garden

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A drawing I finished today...

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Read more.


Hit and miss (in the gift economy)

Friday, May 4, 2012

I walked for two hours today with my mushroom brush, Zero (Jack Russell) and an empty basket, hiking through various types of forest from eucalypt to pine and mixed species that surround the town. Foraging is so hit and miss, which is what I love about it. I like that nothing is guaranteed and that it's based on chance and perception. I was ready to head home when I decided to push on down a little creek-hugging track where I scored some rather aging but still edible saffron milk caps (Lactarius deliciosus) and wood blewits (Lepista nuda). 

Then coming through the bush on the edge of town I spotted a laden fig tree (black genoa, I think), and asked my near neighbour if I could take some. He obliged and I happily returned home with a basket half brimming with uncapitalised goodness. I'll drop some 'shrooms off to him shortly, on a day I get a bigger haul. 

As the mushrooms were quite wet from last night's rain I dried them out in a low oven before I added them to a garden soup of leeks, potatoes, mustard greens, parsley, warrigal greens, spring onions and chickweed. The figs are a surprise gift for my beautiful and pregnant Meg. Happy days!


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