HOW AND WHERE TO FIND EDIBLE PLANTS?
A walk in nature, a kitchen corner, a window, a balcony, a small garden allow everyone to easily consume edible plants.
The impact on the environment decreases each time a trip and packaging are avoided. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
EATING WILD PLANTS : IT’S ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, FREE AND RICH IN NUTRIENTS.
Nettle soup, alpine spinach quiche, blueberry pie, meadowsweet syrup are just a few examples of the ingredients you find on your mountain walks.
In the municipal libraries there are guides to help you recognize mushrooms or plants. Some examples of guides are available at the library of the Vieux Pont in Morzine or at the library in Les Gets :
- Marc Veyrat’s gourmet herbarium
- Picking and using wild mountain plants and fruits by Gilles Hiobergary
- Picking and cooking the wild plants of the Haut-Giffre region by Maryline Mazzocchi
! To pick, we respect the elementary rules of wild harvesting!
- We harvest only perfectly identified plants.
- We respect the survival of the species, we take only what we are going to use and as a general rule, we take only 1/10 of what there is on the spot.
- We do not pick the protected plants. As a general rule, a rare plant, having only a few specimens should not be picked.
- We do not pull up a whole plant, if we only need leaves, we avoid pulling up the roots.
- We pay attention to the quality of the harvesting site. We make sure that it is not too polluted, away from roads, chemical sites, landfills, treated fields.In case of doubt, refrain from picking!
The Tourist Offices organize outings with naturalists to discover wild edible plants. They can also put you in contact with them.
MAKE YOUR SEEDS GERMINATE!
Sprouted seeds are simple, delicious and rich in vitamins and minerals. They take up little space in the kitchen and are ready to eat in a few days. A jar and a strainer are enough for you to make them!
Lentils are the simplest seeds to start with. Two days are enough to obtain this healthy food which has the advantage of keeping longer. The price of the express germination returns to the sunflower seeds and the wheat germs, which require respectively 8 hours and 36 hours of germination. Germinated buckwheat is known to be a natural appetite suppressant, while fenugreek is a powerful anticholesterol. Alfalfa, better known as cultivated alfalfa and favorite seed of foodistas, strengthens our immune system.
GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES!
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start small. Consider how much space you have, how much time you want to spend on it, and do some research (even if it’s mostly through personal experience).
Cherry tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, beans, radishes, spinach, carrots, zucchini, kale, peas, garlic, arugula, chard are vegetables that are easily grown in pots, on a terrace or balcony.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, you can devote part of it to a vegetable garden.
To make your vegetable garden respect the ecosystems, the ideal is to turn to permaculture.
Moreover, permaculture offers the advantage of being able to design a system in which nature does most of the work for you.
In dry weather, it’s best to mulch your garden (i.e. cover the soil between the plants with straw or hay) so that the soil doesn’t dry out and avoid watering.
Choosing plants that are adapted to the climate and orientation of the garden will result in a more satisfying harvest.
Some good books are available in municipal libraries:
- Le potager du lesseux (The lazy man’s vegetable garden) or why and how I produce an abundance of vegetables that are more than organic, without fertilizers, compost, pesticides or any tillage by Didier Helmstetter.
- Discover Permaculture by Roger Elger
- My first organic garden easily from Fiona Hopes
KEEP YOUR SEEDS
Don’t throw away the seeds of zucchini, pumpkins, pumpkin, basil, chives, etc. Dry them and keep them until next spring. They can be sown directly in the garden or in a planter.
For the other plants, it is necessary to cultivate seed carriers. It is a matter of proceeding in the same way as for the plants that you will eat, select the medium plants and let them produce their seeds to harvest and replant them the following year.
Exchange seeds with your neighbors. The exchange of seeds makes it possible to cultivate new plants and to share them with others.
RECOVER THE SURPLUS FROM THE MARKET GARDENERS
Market gardeners offer their surplus of vegetable plants in the spring, which you can simply replant at home.
And to complete your plate, a large majority of the local producers in our Food section offer seasonal fruits and vegetables at the weekly markets!