A Herbal Night of Discovery: A Workshop With Betty Norton & Gather
– In June and July, we were honoured to co-host two workshops with herbalist Betty Norton. We made a whole host of herbal medicines and wildcrafted goodies, including a “Boursin” cheese made from tasty invasive weeds, and a sweet cheese featuring lavender, yarrow, sweet cicely and Oregon grape berries.
Coastal Forest Sugar Scrub & Wild Green Tasting
-On March 3rd we had the great pleasure of teaching a workshop on wildcrafted sugar scrubs and wild greens to a lovely group of Camosun International students. We learned a few new Japanese words and they learned how to turn wild plants and forest conifers into an incredible smelling skin scrub and a delicious pesto! For more photos click here.
Yuletide Walk & Crafting Workshop: Celebrating The Culinary Magic of Conifers
–On December 6th, Gather held a Yuletide walk and crafting workshop celebrating the flavour, fragrance and magic of Conifers. We bundled up and headed outdoors to identify evergreens and discover their many medicinal and magical properties. Then after enjoying a festive buffet of seasonal treats and Grand Fir Tea, we made and took home a potpourri of evergreen edible delights from grand fir-infused sugar and spruce finishing salts, to handmade tea and a winter medicinal syrup. For photos of this event, click here.
Autumn Urban Wild Food Walk & Tasting
– On October 24th, we explored the nutritious and medicinal wild edibles (cat’s ears, plantain, mallow, chickweed, chicory, lambs quarters, wild fennel and liquorice fern root to rose hips, hawthorn berries) growing in the Quadra/Hillside neighbourhood. After we headed indoors for a seasonal wild food tasting featuring wild seed crackers, handmade hung cheeses seasoned with foraged herbs, wild green pesto, wild herb soup, savoury tarts, wild berry jellies and Hawthorn Berry Crumble Cake. Check out the photo’s here.
Eat Together Dinner: Wild Vermouth
– On August 13th, Gather presented a Wildcrafted Aperitif for Moonrise Creatives first Eat Together Supper. Composed of various Vancouver Island wild botanicals and aromatic herbs infused in Vancouver Island spirits, this regional pre-dinner drink was designed to stimulate the taste buds and support digestion – while capturing the flavours and fragrances of our local ‘terroir’. See photos here.
Children’s Wildcrafted Fairy Picnic
— On May 16th Gather hosted a Children’s Wildcrafted Fairy Picnic. We wove flower crowns, made magical wands and learned to identify four wild plants (to gain entrance to the Fairy Feast) and tied ribbons to the enchanting hawthorn tree (to ask the Fairy Queen to grant our wishes). After successfully passing our plant identification tests we ended our afternoon with a Fairy Feast of wildcrafted flowery treats! (see pictures here).
Creatively United for the Planet Earth Week Festival
— On April 25th and 26th Gather led Wild Edibles Culinary Tours at the Fourth Annual Creatively United for the Planet Earth Week Festival. From dandelions to daisies, to wild greens and tender leaves—we discovered the many nutritious and delicious wild foods growing on the lush & lovely festival grounds. We learned how to identify the wild foods growing at your feet and fingertips and how to create a veritable wild feast in your own kitchen! Afterwards, we snacked on dandelion and nettle pesto and wild herb infused cheese and wild seed crackers.
The Midwinter Festival of Lights
— In February we celebrated Imbolc, one of the oldest and most beautiful traditions of the changing seasons. It is the traditional time for new beginnings and for creating rituals to ensure abundance for the coming year. We enjoyed an afternoon of storytelling, weaving greenery into sun wheels, wreaths and crowns to welcome the return of the sun. After toasting the goddess of spring, we celebrated with a magical repast of spiced drink, sheep cheese, braided bread, honey cakes & more. (see photos here)
Eggs Magical Eggs: Celebrating the Spring Equinox
—On Spring Equinox, Gather hosted a candlelit evening of egg magic. Artist Elisa Rathje of Appleturnover guided us through the old-time art of dyeing eggs using local plants and vegetables. We explored the magical uses of herbs used to bring good luck, love, fertility and abundance. Afterwards, we completed our celebration with a spring equinox-inspired feast which intertwined wild and local seasonal ingredients with traditional cross cultural recipes. (See photos here)
Vic West Urban Wild Foods Walk and Tastings
— On March 15th and April 12th, in partnership with the Vic West Food Security Collective, Gather hosted a Wild food Walk and Tasting exploring the urban spring edibles of the Vic West neighbourhood. We began with a plant identification walk and finished with a wild foods tasting menu featuring spring salad, wild green Greek pies, dandelion pesto, nettle chips, kimchi, wild yoghurt cheese, grand fir custard, nettle cupcakes, plum blossom truffles and other spring delicacies.(See photos here and here)
Fall Urban Wilds Food Walk
— Last fall, graciously hosted by the local restaurant Part and Parcel, Gather explored the urban wilds and city streets of the Quadro/Hillside neighborhood and found Cat’s Ears, Plantain, Mallow, Chickweed, Chicory, Licorice Fern Root, Rose-hips, Hawthorn, Rowan and Oregon Grape Berries-just for a start. Then we enjoyed an autumnal buffet of wild berry chutneys, botanical jellies, dandelion pesto, wild green chips and Acorn cake. (Check out the pics here.)