Melany Vorass Herrera harvests stinging nettles from Seattle's Golden Gardens Park. It's technically illegal, but like many other cities, Seattle is starting to promote careful urban foraging.
Melany's husband Carlos Herrera catches a trout at Seattle's Haller Lake, just off Aurora Avenue North. Carlos has spent much of his life studying the water quality in urban lakes. "These stocked trout are safe to eat," he says.
Melany handles stinging nettles carefully in the kitchen.
Gail Savina, founder of Seattle’s City Fruit, shows off figs she plans to harvest later from ornamental trees in a residential neighborhood. City Fruit harvested about 20,000 pounds of fruit for Seattle food banks last year.
Foraged dinner for Melany Vorass Herrera and her husband Carlos Hererra: wild stinging nettle pesto, trout from a local lake, butter-fried invasive snails (escargot) and muffins with locally-harvested wild mulberries.
Cities like Seattle are really good at certain things. Like making widgets and designing spacecraft. Activities that take up a lot of space, like farming, are left to the farmers. For the most part, our food is trucked in from the Skagit Valley, shipped in from Florida, flown in from Chile -- places where land and labor are cheaper. But that divorce – between cities and farms – leaves cities vulnerable. All that movement of food between cities and farms relies on infrastructure. And infrastructure can fail, sometimes catastrophically.
Friday, March 1, is opening day at the Green Lake Pitch ‘n Putt Golf Course. The course has nine holes. The clubhouse isn’t much bigger than a roadside fruit stand. Admission is less than $10. For the thirtieth year in a row, the Taitch family will be running the place. But last year, the family almost called it quits.