Transforming Body & Mind
A core idea in foraging is that finding what we eat has a transformative effect on our body and mind – our spirit changes by eating. Foraging is also a spiritual practice. It’s about living in the moment and letting nature guide you. Sami Tallberg emphasizes that you need to enter the forest with no expectations, anger, and negativism. You’ll never know what’s going to happen and what you will find. But he always brings back something, it could be a massive revelation about human relationships, an exhilarating patch of mushrooms or a discovery of a new plant. It’s like entering a new world every time.
Foraging is also a learning process. Sami Tallberg is today using around 100 plants and over 70 mushrooms in his cooking, but what nature has to offer is endless: an unfolding mystery. Every year is different. You can predict where certain plants grow but with mushrooms you have absolutely no idea. There are no shelves or prices driving your decision making, instead you need to enter nature with deep respect and be thankful for what you find. You could look at it as the antithesis of capitalism, nothing costs anything, and yet what you find is often invaluable. On the flip side of the coin, the ingredients you find in nature can be incredibly valuable when served at gourmet restaurants or packaged into food supplements.
Every man’s rights to superfoods
Every man’s right makes Finland heaven for foragers. It is legal to pick berries, herbs, and mushrooms from a forest without consent from the landowner. Never the less, the best place to forage is close to where you live and where you feel a strong connection to the land.
The tradition often resides with the indegineous people. The Sami people are the perfect example: they can hear plants, berries, and animals, and connect with them on an emotional, spiritual level.
Foraging and the superfood qualities of the wild ingredients are gaining momentum as a way to re-build the lost connection.
I didn’t realize until five or ten years ago, that my grandad was really strongly connected to nature and he was collecting all the remedies from nature. My earliest memory from nature is my grandad collecting birch sap into a Koskenkorva bottle.
But my dad was never too into that and my mom had zero connection to nature. So basically I think that connection and information jumped over my parents generation to me –and was activated in me.
Dazzle, little sun-of-grass!
And spin me, tiny time-machine! (tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)
Now no longer know as Dent-de-Lion, Lion’s Tooth, or Windblow (tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)
Evening Glow, Milkwitch or Prachute, so
Let new names take and root, thrive and grow,
(tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)
I would make you some, such as Bane of Lawn Perfectionists
Or Fallen Star of the Football Pitch or Scatterseed, but
Never would I call you only, merely, simply, ‘weed’. (tick-tock, sun clock, thistle & dock)