Where the Wild Things Are
Let me start by saying this: the Okanagan is not only a beautiful place, but a delicious place, too. When you take the time to really look at it and explore our land, you start to see things a little bit differently.
For this particular edible adventure, I met fellow Slow Food thinking friends, Kevin Kossowan (From The Wild director and multiple James Beard award nominee) and Tyler Harlton (top class little intervention winemaker of TH Wines) for a spot of foraging in Osoyoos. I’d like to also add that when your adventure starts with a dropped pin with the meeting point, you know it’s going to be a good one.
Before unloading my camp stove, hefty cast iron pan, homely spice blends and knife roll, we took a little wander to see what we could scavenger hunt for a field lunch with a five-finger discount. Blue skies stretched for miles, the path ahead muddled muted desert lands with the idyllic and familiar backdrop of lush blooming vineyards further away.
From a local perspective, the subdued trail was used for the every day - walking the dog, a leisurely stroll or pretty straightforward flat run. That wasn’t our perspective or purpose. We literally travelled to Osoyoos to eat lunch together, but it wasn’t just a lunch date, it was a four-hour experience with the freshest, most local produce around.
Everywhere we looked, there was something new to feast on. We walked down the path, looking in every direction, losing track of each other in search of something delicious. ‘Is that…?’, ‘look over here…’ – the questions and answers kept on coming. Amongst the sameness came wild asparagus, nettles, rose petals, sumac, lamb’s quarter, pineapple weed, tarragon, mustard greens and lot and lots of poison ivy (danger is my middle name!) – all of which (minus the poison ivy) completely and magically safely edible.
With a bucket load of food stimulus around us, we quickly came up with a plan to bust out the old camp stove and cast iron pan and set it down under a tree along the river trail. It was only until we unloaded our haul did we realize the extent of what Mother Nature gifted us. And then it was my turn to add a little Indian vibe and create some new food memories.
Mother Nature really does have your back.
When you start foraging or growing your own food, you start to see the environment as the delicious place it’s supposed to be - proving it’s not necessarily expensive to eat locally and in-season.
Just remember that the land is borrowed and it’s not only ours. Share with the other members of our little eco-system and leave enough behind.
About Aman Dosanj and The Paisley Notebook:
Food and marketing geek, former England and Arsenal footballer, people watcher, feminist, BSc Business Graduate, middle child, Virgo, planner, Slow Food Member, adventurer, From The Wild alumni, imperfect environment, storyteller, and just weird enough to be interesting. The former Poppadoms owner and Western Living Magazine ‘Foodie of the Year’ organizes pop up dinners and collaborative events across the Okanagan aimed at bringing the community together. Winner of the Canadian Tourism Awards’ ‘Culinary Tourism Experience’ and a two-time finalist in the BC Tourism Industry Awards' 'Remarkable Experiences' category, The Paisley Notebook has raised over $47k for local charities since 2017.