As part of a movement to introduce local foods to Danish people’s diets, residents of Copenhagen can pluck fresh raspberries at the city’s edge near the woodlands, all summer long.
This city will become the basis of grab-and-go snacks. In a vote, the City Council decided to introduce free and portable public fruit trees for their citizens.
They’ll plant edibles, including apples and blackberries wherever the planning of the city calls for greener surfaces.
Connecting Residents with their Communities
According to Astrid Aller, the city councilor from the Socialist People’s Party, who helped in the spreading of the initiative, this urban orchard will help connect the residents with their communities.
She believes their city is something they all own and they want the collective urban orchard to be something people will be able to use and interact with.
This initiative is also a reflection of a bigger movement to reconnect people with their flora and foodways. The foraging interest has increased on a global level in the last period.
The trend is particularly strong in Denmark where the New Nordic Cuisine is a style of cooking that is focused on local Scandinavian ingredients. It has motivated residents to procure their food from their backyards.
Foraging Helps Us Reconnect with Our Surroundings
According to program manager at Vild Mad, an organization educating people about ecological and gastronomic advantages of foraging, Mikkel-Lau Mikkelsen, foraging helps us connect with what’s around us.
This organization was launched by popular forager Rene Redzepi who’s chef at the posh Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen and one of the brains of the New Nordic Cuisine.
Mikkelsen further adds that this is the ultimate way to experience the nature around us- by tasting it.
Denmark Is Full of Forests & Has Amazing Nature & Food
The lush forests of Denmark and its wind-swept beaches provide broad taste, from the sweet and crispy curled forest fiddleheads to salty slimes of crinkly kelp.
In order to assist citizens in finding these items, Vild Mad or ‘wild food’ in Danish has launched an app which guides the user through the landscape.
It also suggests recipes for wild foods which one may not be familiar with despite the ingredients growing right under their noses.
Foraging is not a new thing in Denmark. The laws from middle ages that persist today allow citizens to collect food from the public lands, as much as they can fit in their hat, at least.
They also have the legal right to harvest from private lands with footpaths, as long as they don’t stray from the trail.
The new thing is the zeal for the ingredients to be a part of a culinary culture in which posh food was considered the imported or the one from a green house until recently.
Foraged foods have become very popular so a lot of supermarkets in Copenhagen provide seasonally and locally-sourced foods.
However, not every Copenhagen citizen is pleased about the urban foraging. Namely, some are worried that the fruit trees will rot on bike paths and increase the risk of slipping and will also attract wasps.
Some also add that the plants will require costly maintenance.