10. Taste Wild Foraged Food

For the tenth and final task we invite you to nature’s table to celebrate your achievements by savouring the delicacies of the wild. Motivating myself to take on this task was easy, as food is always my priority!

Harvesting, cooking and devouring organic fruit and vegetables makes me feel so good. Even better if someone else has done all the hard work of keeping them alive and well and pollinated to the point of fruition.

Nobody does this better than Mother Nature herself. While our vegetable patch largely went to wrack and ruin under my management, the brambles and wild roses produced a great bounty of sweet, juicy fruit. The blackberries have a distinctly celebratory flavour when eaten immediately after picking. It’s almost sparkling.

A clump of wild strawberry plants noticed the absence of lawnmower blades as we let our wildflower meadow grow, and ventured forth to produce berries of their own.


Finding and picking wild berries rewards the same part of my brain that lights up when I spot a rare ladybird species in a wetland, or find Foo Fighters’ Everlong on a karaoke booth song list.

It distracts me from the troubles of the world. I feel prosperous, thriving, immersed in the gifts of nature. Robin Wall Kimmerer best describes nature’s generosity in her book Braiding Sweetgrass.

In our Biosphere Challenge Facebook group, an important question was raised in response to this task. In nature’s current depleted state, can she afford for us to forage these foods which are also shared with the birds, the squirrels, the insects?

There is an important etiquette to sustainable foraging. Only take a sustainable amount, a small percentage of anything you’re harvesting. A taste of the wild is enough to rekindle our connection to it.

Only pick what you can confidently identify or have identified by an expert. As Alexis Nikole Nelson (@blackforager on TikTok and Instagram) says, “Don’t die!”

Robin makes small beds for the wild strawberry runners. She clears excess algae from her pond. She knows that gathering the sweetgrass stimulates its growth. Most importantly, she trusts in nature’s ability to provide for our needs if we take only what we need and no more.

Selene Aswell, a community living coach exploring the Gift Economy, expanded on this idea in our fifth Biosphere Challenge webinar, Nature and Culture Connect. She encouraged us to tune into that trust in nature through an inspiring meditation.

Selene was joined by Sophie von Maltzan who designs spaces where nature and people can coexist harmoniously, such as St. Anne’s Road Pocket Park. There you can pick a ripe passionfruit off the wall in summer, thanks to the bees.

Paying it forward also feels rewarding. All of my family members got apple and blackberry chutney and rosehip jelly for Christmas!

Webinar Five