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NADIA magazine features editor Fiona Ralph goes foraging with Nadia Lim and learns how fruitful it can be.
When I first heard about foraging, it sounded like fun but also a lot of work. I envisioned a full day’s excursion, an out-of-town drive, some fence and tree climbing, and the risk of being caught trespassing. Fun perhaps but a little freaky. I categorised it alongside dumpster diving and, while admiring the commitment to sourcing free food that would otherwise be wasted, was happy to leave the task to others.
Then I spoke to Christchurch baker Anna Worthington. Anna forages for fruit and flowers to use in the delicious cakes she makes for her business, Cakes by Anna. After hearing her talk of snipping lavender from the footpath, collecting rhubarb from her neighbours and ‘shopping’ for apples in the city’s uninhabited red zone, I wanted in.
But Auckland, where I’m based, doesn’t have access to anything like the red zone, which is full of abandoned fruit and nut trees. Luckily, a quick Google search showed me that there are foraging maps available for most of the.
The New Zealand Fruit and Food Share Map is user-populated, so people can add trees that are on public land as well as those on their property that they are happy for foragers to take fruit from. Nut trees, herbs, shellfish and some vegetables are also included, as are community gardens. Fungi are listed, too, but I’m steering clear of this category since I don’t have the expertise to ensure safe consumption.