Wanaka is a buzz of foraging talk at the moment. We even have a Facestalker group. The debate and excitement around this is very exciting and lively. In one corner there exists a feeling that if we were to tell everyone where all the food is then it would all be taken, leaving none for the peeps who discovered it. The other corner seems to be inhabited by people who think all information should be shared and it’s way better to find trees that have been harvested than rock up to find food rotting on the floor.
As usual, I kinda exist in the middle, ha ha, none decisive as ever. However, Monday is Regeneration Wanaka and I am tasked with providing food for the ultra rad young peeps who are paying us a visit. Since I’m trying to do this on a shoe string budget I decided that I could take WYCM on a fruit foraging mish.
We explored Wanaka Station park last year and know that there are fruit and nut trees there. We are also very aware that many other people go there and take advantage of the scrummy heritage fruit & nuts. It’s also real close to Ambers house….so that was going to be our last stop.
When I tried to get the 5% edible project off the ground last year I had a vision of having some fruit trees next to a track that I ride my bike on pretty regularly. What I didn’t know, is that I’d been speeding past two apple trees hidden behind some rose hip trees. If anyone tries to tell you I’m an onto it kinda a fella, don’t believe them. When I found out these trees were there I felt so stupid, but also rather pleased, they are damn fine tasty apples. So this was our first stop and it certainly wasn’t a disappointment.
As we bundled ourselves back into the van feeling pretty pleased with our haul so far we decided to head on up towards the Mount Iron estate. All eyes were peeled on the road side. If we saw a tree on private property then it was no go. If it was on public land then it was a different matter entirely. Pull over, all out, have a look, have a taste and if it was all the juicy goodness then it’s time add a few more to the ever filling boxes.
By the time we got to Wanaka Station Park we had a pretty good harvest, which was a good job. It seems that the popularity of the Station has increased somewhat since this time last year. Hardly anything within arms reach. With this problem in mind, it didn’t take Aaron and Rich long to figure out a way to get a little extra height, who needs a cherry picker when you’ve got a rather tall youth worker?