To see someone get SO excited over the wild edibles that are out there was a pretty cool experience. That was exactly how Andy Benson, our guest from today’s season premiere was. We all could’ve wandered around with him all day, soaking up more and more. “What’s that?, What can we do with this?, Can you eat these?” (Having your very own personal wild edibles tour guide is a pretty sweet thing, you know!)
It’s funny how once you start being able to identify certain things, you naturally want to know more and more. I only hope I live long enough to learn about everything that’s out there! ::)
We originally planned to go to Andy’s home in Dubuque, Iowa to shoot this particular show, but his area was affected by flooding over the summer and he ended up coming our way instead. (I really wanted to see what he had stored in his cupboards, too!) lol Andy chooses a bicycle for his transportation, so his dad was generous enough to drive him all the way out here, and we had fun getting to know him, as well. One would assume that maybe Andy got some of his foraging enthusiasm from his dad, but that wasn’t the case. Andy said it was actually his dad that was always telling him to stop eating those things when he was little. His dad laughed about that and told me that while he personally wasn’t all that into ‘eating weeds’, ::) he was pretty proud of all that his son had learned, what he does with it and how he goes about teaching others.
I was pregnant in this episode, (obviously) lol….so I did exercise moderation with some of the ‘new’ things that I was trying. I did try everything, and I can’t say that I found any of it to be disappointing. Everything truly was tasty and I even went out and harvested more throughout the weeks after and started incorporating them into the menu. Andy admittedly likes to prepare the things he harvests very simply..he’s a bit of a purist like that! ::) ..I, on the other hand will continue to have some fun playing around with the recipes, adding a few other ingredients here and there and ‘spicing things up a bit’.
Andy’s resourcefulness also went beyond just edibles..he also made twines/ropes out of some of the different plants and he has quite a collection of didgeridoos that he handcrafts…we would’ve needed an hour-long show to share it all, so unfortunately we had to table some of those things for another day!
I encourage you guys to check out the group he started on Facebook and join in. There is a WEALTH of knowledge and expertise being shared on there day after day. Excellent place to learn and converse with fellow foragers.
Andy and others like him are the people whom I consider to be the ‘celebrities’ in the world. People definitely worth talking about and giving precious air time to. There are so many other interesting foragers out there just like Andy and I look forward to being able to share their stories with all of you in future programs.
Cheers to foraging!