FORAGING FOR WUNDERLAUCH
Foraging season is now in full swing and Tash from Avantgarden and Alexis & Jonas from Edible Alchemy have been busy collecting Few-flowered-leek, Wunderlauch, Berliner bärlauch, Allium paradoxum.!
This plant which grows wild in and around Berlin is often mistaken for Ramsons (Wild garlic), Bärlauch, Allium ursinum.
Few-flowered-leek is an Asian cousin, more slender and a lighter green then ransoms and is in fact classified as an invasive species in Europe. In saying that it has wonderful benefits hence the name wunderlauch translating as wonder leek. It can be used in many ways for cleansing the system, supporting the digestion, good for the lungs and aiding in immune support. So get out there pick away. You can make pesto, add to pastas and soups, in fresh salads, ferment it and tincture it. We at the Sensory Academy love to just walk through the forests when it grows allowing the scent of the garlicky leek to hit our senses bringing images of all the wild dishes and remedies that can be make with this Wonder!
Text by AVANTGARDEN for SENSORY ACADEMY
Alexis and Jonas from EDIBLE ALCHEMY also can't get enough of this fresh spring flavor and want to keep it for months to remember the days of the first spring walks. Even when the weather gets colder again, you can enjoy the taste of early spring in their Wunderkraut! You need:
- a handful of wonder garlic or real wild garlic ...)
- white cabbage (approx. 1000 g for a 1000ml jar)
- 25 g of sea salt
Cut the cabbage into thin strips and the long leek leaves roughly into thirds. Put everything in a bowl and knead until the cabbage looks translucent and puddles at the bottom. Pour into the 1000 ml glass and press down so tightly that only a few air pockets as possible remain. Fill to the brim! Place on a plate or in a bowl to allow the juice to overflow during the fermentation process. Bubbling and whistling is a sign of success! Edible Alchemy for The Herbal Project
FINDING A GARDEN IN BERLIN
The search for an allotment garden begins with a look onto the website of the ‘Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde’ = Federal Association of German Gardeners (https://kleingarten-bund.de), with a call to the Gartenamt (Königsallee 65, 14193 Berlin, Tel:+49 30 8959030) or a search through Ebay Kleinanzeigen https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-berlin/kleingarten or private Kleingarten Facebook groups ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/711814198946393/).
Find the contact details for local allotment garden associations, Kleingartenanlagen. The allotment garden association is something of an intermediary: it has leased land from the municipality or a private owner and leases it to the allotment gardeners in the form of plots. If you want to lease a garden, you apply directly to the local district association of allotment gardeners. Here you find a list of all Berliner district gardens: https://www.berlin.de/senuvk/umwelt/stadtgruen/kleingaerten/de/kontakt/kleingaertenverbaende.shtml
Decide in which district you would like to get your plot and have the appropriate district associations put you on the waiting list.
You should do that right at the beginning of your search, as the gardens are actually assigned to members on the waiting list. The best way to do this is to go to the garden office at opening hours and fill out the relevant forms. In advance you should think roughly how much transfer fee you could pay, as this has to be stated in the form.
And as with everything, timing is key: Most of the tenant changes in allotment gardens take place at the end of the season, sometime between September and November.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE MEANTIME:
Go for walks in the Kleingarten of your choice, pay attention to the notices in the glass boxes of the allotment gardens. There you can find out the office hours or even specific offers.
Finding your own plot or garden isn’t easy as these are very popular. Another option to have a little gardening space are Hochbeete = raised beds.
These are available in several large parks, like e.g. Tempelhofer Feld (https://www.stadtacker.com) and Mauerpark (https://www.mauergarten.net) and often start out as communal gardening until a box becomes free.
Finding a garden comes with a whole lot commitment and in a Kleingartenanlage also (as anything in Germany) with a few rules:
- keep to the planting rules, e.g. fruit trees, vegetables etc.
- Barbecuing is allowed, campfires are not
- The cat is allowed to roam when the owner is there.
- A paddling pool may be set up, but a pool may not be dug.
- Spend the night in the hut - no problem. Renting it out - impossible.
https://www.hauptstadtgarten.de and her book:Mein Abendteuer Garten (also top picture)
Sources collected & written by JULIA from BERLINER ZAUBERKRAUT
IMBOLC: 1 & 2. FEBRUARY
Imbolc 'in the belly" is held on 1st and 2nd February. We celebrate Brigit, the goddess of fire. It marks the point between winter solstice and spring equinox, the middle of winter and the promise of the coming of spring. The time of the womb, the beginning of new life. Now is the in-between time, a time of transition and change. A time where we may feel lonely, lost, uncomfortable and restless. This is the old being left This is the old being left . This is the old being left behind and the new slowly moving in. Tranformation and change is not always easy, but is needed for the next steps. The last month has been a time to have visions of what you want for the coming year and now is the time to shift into creating it to become a reality.This is a beautiful time, a time to honour the in-between. What may seem as nothing is actually a time of movement below the surface, something is shifting. We do not quite yet know what it will be that springs forward, the possibility’s are endless, we are in the in-between.
And just as some plants will show their beautiful shinning green faces first, others are perhaps flowering a little later. Just like them, we also progress at different stages - so don’t rush, your time will come when it’s just right.
Text by Tash from AVANT GARDEN
We have put together a list of our most precious books and online sources for you, in case you want to dig a little deeper into the world of plants, herbs, fermentation and sustainability.
Two favourite plant dying books by Elke from Still garments:
- Her favourite is by Jenny Dean: Wild Color. The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
- A German one: Eberhard Prinz: Färberpflanzen. Anleitung zum Färben, Verwendung in Kultur und Medizin
- The school of Evolutionary Herbalism and the school of Aromatic Medicine @aromatic_medicine as well as the Mountain herbs blogposts for a shorter read.
- Several of us have also had good experiences with the Herbal Academy courses. They have sales on from time to time.
Tash from Avant Garden has a great tip to learn everything about foraging:
- https://www.eatweeds.co.uk/. He is not a herbalist, but has a lot of great information and keeps things simple.
- A herbalism book that should be in everyone’s library who wants to work with local plants: Enzyklopädie Essbare Wildpflanzen, Steffen Guido Fleischhauer und co.
- Bar Tartine techniques & recipes and The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton at Newton & Pott Preserves.
- A great book for banning chemicals from your home is ‘Fünf Hausmittel ersetzen eine Drogerie’- Natural and sustainable alternatives to store bought cleaners.
- Another great fermentation bible is ‘The art of fermentation’ by Sandorkraut.
A great online source is our Alexis’ Edible Alchemy CoLaboratory own brilliant online academy: www.EdibleAlchemyAcademy.com
Nina from Cosy Island Witcheria has a big passion for beautiful natural scents: She recommends "Einführung in die Aromatherapie" bei Michael Kraus and 'Geheimnisse wohlriechender Essenzen" by Maggie Tissards.
We hope our little list can be an inspiration for your reading.
Sources collected by Julia from BERLINER ZAUBERKRAUT