VILD MAD (or “Wild Food” in English) is a resource for learning about, tasting, and exploring wild food. The project is split into three parts. The first is a curriculum for school-kids in Denmark. We want to encourage kids of all ages to explore their local landscape and taste the abundance of flavors all around us. We aspire to see knowledge of natural food being taught in schools as commonly as reading, writing and mathematics. We believe that providing young children with a basic understanding of edibility and of the landscape will broaden their perception of flavor, connect them to their surroundings in a more profound way, and enable them to understand nature’s resources and flow. In short, it will give them a more vested interest in caring for our environment by building a lifelong connection with it.
The second part of VILD MAD is a foraging and wild food school for all Danes. We will provide you with the knowledge to be in tune with the flavors of the seasons; track down the ramsons blossoming in early spring, and the different stages of wild berries in autumn. Discover the fertile crops of the woods such as mushrooms, wild seeds and flowers, and unearth roots that taste like cinnamon. Become acquainted with the land so that you can stroll through a forest and understand what is edible, to harvest sustainably and learn to cook with these remarkable flavors.
The third component of VILD MAD will be a digital platform that serves as a database for information and imagery on varieties of plants and wild foods. It also provides guidelines for food safety, sustainability, an “edibility map,” and tips on cooking your food.
MAD’s ambition is that VILD MAD will serve as model in Denmark. We hope that our project can be an inspiration for others to do the same elsewhere. A fundamental aspect of the project is to be as open as possible with sharing our technology and information to enable this to happen.
The project will be developed with some of the leading nature experts in Denmark: the Danish outdoor council, the Rangers’ association, Byhøst (“City Harvest” in English), and the Alexandra Institute. We are thrilled to collaborate with these new friends, and are overwhelmed with excitement to see the positive response VILD MAD is receiving in the community here. Lastly, we would like to warmly thank both Nordea-fonden and our dynamic group of collaborators for all of the support.
If you’d like to have more information, or if you need help to start your own wild food project, please reach out to Mikkel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a large task we still have ahead of us, so we will be kicking off in spring of 2017. For now, get a first look by checking out www.vildmad.dk.
All photos courtesy of Byhøst, Nicolai Engel & Ulf Svane.