There are edible treasures growing wild all over Cape Town; you just have to know where to look. And that’s where Charlie Standing, also known as the Urban Hunter Gatherer, comes in. Urban foraging is his forte, and after spending a day with him, you’re guaranteed to look at your environment in a whole new light.
From nasturtiums growing on city sidewalks to mushrooms clustered in shady inner-city forests, expert forager Charlie Standing knows where all of Cape Town’s wild-growing edible treasures can be found for the tastiest urban foraging.
The experience starts bright and early at the decided foraging location where Charlie gives a short briefing on foraging sensitively, safely and respectfully towards nature – the golden rule is to only ever take what you need – and then the urban foraging fun begins.
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As all that hunting for ingredients makes for thirsty work, Charlie packs a picnic with classics like nasturtium pesto and loquat jam with freshly baked bread to keep you energised.
Seeing that urban foraging is weather and season dependent, each excursion with Charlie is different. In spring, you might go picking wild sweet peas against the slopes of Table Mountain, indigenous sorrel growing between pavement cracks in the inner city, or Cape pondweed a short drive from the Mother City.
Summer, again, is a good time for foraging for different seaweeds, mussels and limpets along the coast, while Autumn is the season for finding mushrooms like porcini and pine rings, agave buds and loquats.
When the group has gathered its fill of ingredients, it’s back to Charlie’s where you’ll transform the morning’s loot into a 3-course feast in the kitchen of his home and then sitting down for a well-deserved lunch. Talk about enjoying the fruit of your labour!
Experience the best of urban foraging
- Get back in touch with nature and the origin of food
- Inspiring day urban foraging in the outdoors
- Forage for your own ingredients
- Learn more about edible food sources in your surroundings
- Join in the creative process of cooking together
- Perfect experience for outdoor enthusiasts, groups, sporty types, foodies, the whole family, couples and adventurers eaters
- Informative talk on foragables
- Practical demonstration on how to forage and prep the edibles
- Light picnic of pre-prepared foraged nibbles and local bread
- Foraged ingredients for the cooking class
- 3-course meal cooked with foraged ingredients, ranging from nasturtium pesto to kelp lasagne
Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald