ISSUE 10  |  Mr. McGregor's Garden

In the Weeds: A Foraging Food Show

March 14, 2014 1:30 PM

BY Lindsey Taylor

Foraging for wild edibles has reached a level of near hysteria. The exciting hunt for fresh, local sustainable food that the earth offers up has captured the imagination of many. We are foragers by nature, and reconnecting with what is around us that can be eaten is nothing new. But most of us lack the knowledge required to decipher what can and cannot be eaten and what to do with it. A Canadian web series that hit the scene last August, In the Weeds TV, showcases the bounty that can be found in city and country and introduces us to the experts who have made it their life’s work to know what to look for and what to avoid. 

Photographs courtesy of In the Weeds.

Above: Fresh foraged sumac, purslane, beach pea flowers, sea arugula, oyster leaf, sassafras, sedum, milkweed pods, and flowers.

Canada was never known for its food, but over the past decade or so it has become the country to watch for innovative cooking that honors its heritage. Young Canadian chefs are finally getting the attention they deserve, cities like Toronto are buzzing with talent, and new restaurants open weekly, each one different enough from the last to merit a try.  

Above: An edible milkweed pod.

Abby Ainsworth is the founder of In the Weeds TV, and as a Canadian she has made it her mission to show the world what Canada has to offer. A background in both film and restaurants–she worked for the industry leader of the local food movement chef Jamie Kennedy–gave her the chops to create a food-based Web series. 

Above: Dyson Forbes of Forbes Wild Foods gathers pheasant back mushrooms.

Above: Mulberry Vincotto by Chef Colin Moise.

Foragers are protective by nature, but with a promise not to share specifics on their locales, Ainsworth has won them over. Her first season of short films is a fun romp with the chefs and foragers showing us the edible delights from the common mulberry, to chokecherries, to exotic mushrooms. They are visual appealing, informative, and leave you wanting more–and hungry for a meal. Fortunately, she shares the recipes with us on the In the Weeds website. Grab yourself a locally brewed brew and have a watch. I’m already looking forward to the next season. 

Above: Roasted Newfoundland partridge breast with anise roots and wild field garlic by Chef Colin Moise.

Above: Packaged and bagged foraged finds.

Curious to see what else Canada has to offer? See Restaurant as DIY Gallery: l’Ouvrier in Toronto on Remodelista. 

Haven’t gotten your wildcrafting fix? See Feral Apples and Wild Mushrooms: Wildcrafting with Andrea Gentl