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There are over 20,000 species of plants that have been recorded as edible, yet in our current society you'll be lucky to find more than 25 of them in your local supermarket!

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Episode 9: Interview With A Foraging Grand Master

Interview With Francois Couplan

Crawling at 5mph it took me ages to drive up the dusty, pot-holed road that led into the depths of wildness where foraging grand master Francois Couplan lives hidden in the depths of Provence, France.

If there is one person who I would dearly love to learn more about wild edible plants, then Francois is the man! I never in a gazillion years thought that I would find myself being invited for an evening meal, and spend time with one of my heroes… And trust me, I really don’t do heroes usually, but sometimes you hear about someone, and just know somewhere, sometime you need to meet them.

Francois CouplanIn this podcast interview, I sit as the sun goes down with a man who has been living with plants on a daily basis for over 50 years! Aside from the indigenous plant teachers I have met on my travels around the world, Francois has a knowledge that goes way beyond anyone living “in the West” that I know.

So it was a real pleasure to do this interview, even if I do sound excitable… that’s because… I was!

For a man who was there in Paris 68, its a fascinating record of someone’s life so completely dedicated to teaching and inspiring everyone about the importance of paying attention to plants, and the benefits that gives you. I hope you enjoy it. Read more…

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Sakura: Preserved Cherry Blossom

Sakura : Preserved Cherry Blossom Recipe
Each year I literally swoon as I cup the cherry blossom flowers in my hand gazing at their mysterious beauty set against cloudless blue sky. And each year I promise myself to make a preserved cherry blossom recipe. Each year until this one I miss the window of opportunity.

In Japan, the tradition of “Hanami” which literally translates as “flower viewing” is a practice that dates back to the sixth century Heian period. Cherry blossoms in Japan are called “Sakura”, and are a symbol of the transient nature of life, due to their short flowering time. They represent a life that is beautiful, but also temporary and impermanent.

So as not to miss the year’s flowering season I scoured my patches trying to find some flowers that were still only in bud. For the preserved cherry blossom recipe you need to gather buds that are just starting to open, you can, should you to wish pick some of the fully opened flowers, but best to try and get just the buds. You’ll also need to gather a few of the very young leaves as they are just developing. Read more…

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