London

The weeds outside your door could be the perfect kitchen ingredient

A London woman has made it her mission to teach people how to make use of the plants growing in our backyards

'Some of these weeds are more nutrient than the tomatoes you're trying to grow,' says Katelyn Landry

Katelyn Landry at her Garden Tea Social on August 24, 2019. The event showcased fresh tea blends made from foraged harvests. (forijthrills/imagesbyjac)

A London woman is on a mission to teach people how to make use of the plants we may find outside our front door. 

Katelyn Landry, founder of the London company Fôrij Thrills, said some of the plants found in our backyards contain more nutrients than what's found in the grocery store.

"We live in a time where it's amazing to be able to have mangos and avocados and all of these amazing fruits and vegetables sent to us from all around the world, but I think it's also equally important to recognize the amazing amount of plants and food that we have just outside of our doorstep."

Chef Yoda Olinyk of Yoda's Kitchen entertains guests with an amazing food demonstration of pancakes with wild apples and maple syrup infused with eastern white pine needles at the gather in social event on October 27, 2019 at Jac's House in St. Thomas. (Forijthrills/Juan Neira)

Landry was living in a small house surrounded by pine and spruce trees on the west side of London when she began foraging. 

Over time the young Londoner discovered most of the landscaping surrounding her home was edible. 

Foraging is the art or traditional practice of going outside and gathering food. 

Fôrij Thrills launched back in July 2019 and has hosted three events to date, including a tea party.

Chef Ellen Laing of Killdeer Food Co offers guests her highly prized puff ball mushroom with chickweed pesto at the gather in social on October 27,2019 at Jac's House in St. Thomas. (Forijthrills/Juan Neira)

Events feature local chefs demonstrating new exciting ways to use plants that are in season. 

Foraging in your backyard

Wood sorrel is one of the weeds Londoners may find in their backyards. 

At first glance it looks like a clover, with three hear-shaped leaves. But sprinkled in a salad it imitates the taste of a lemon. 

If the idea of eating weeds is too much, Landry suggests experimenting with flowers. 

Daylilies are set to bloom in London over the next few weeks. Landry suggests using a few next time you're making scrambled eggs.

The beginners guide to foraging

For those looking to dabble in the art of foraging, Landry recommends starting off by familiarizing yourself with one plant by making note of the season and time it's flourishing. 

Before using the plant, it's important to identify it with more than one source. You can verify the plant using a mentor, online source or book. 

When harvesting, it's also important to ensure you're doing so sustainably.

A good rule of thumb is harvesting less than 10 per cent of what is in front of you, said Landry. 

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