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Hills foraging tour promises culinary surprises

The Forager

Adventurous foodies will be invited to taste edible weeds and wild plants as part of a hands-on foraging and feasting tour in the Adelaide Hills during Tasting Australia.

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“Once you start to eat weeds you actually start to crave them,” ecologist and tour guide Tiffany Schultz says.

 “A lot of introduced plants happen to have a lot of culinary, herbal and medicinal values.

“You could just eat purslane from the cracks in the footpath because it’s one of the best sources of omega-3.”

Schultz will host an Adelaide Hills foraging tour with her company Conscious Lifestyles as part of this month’s Tasting Australia.

Participants will be transported by bus to the Hills, where they will forage for edible weeds and wild plants, meet artisan growers, cider and winemakers, and enjoy a three to four-course meal featuring local produce.

“There’s a really diverse range of food that’s growing in the Adelaide Hills and not everyone is aware of it,” Schultz says.

“People know about the apples and cherries but they probably don’t know about the chickens and chestnuts and exotic fruits orchards.

“There’s the natural wine and now there’s organic cider, too.”

The tour will be a family affair, with Tiffany Schultz teaming up with relatives Graeme and Fiona Schultz, who own Forest Orchards in Forest Range. There, guests will learn about the processes involved in apple growing and apple cider and apple vinegar production and hear from free-range chicken farmer Carey Schultz, whose chickens roam under the orchards.

“People will be able to get viscerally and physically involved in the foraging, picking the apples in the orchard, seeing and even holding the chickens and then seeing the manufacturing process.

“We go to that extra mile to ensure the food that we produce is hyper-local and seasonal.”

As part of the tour, Tiffany Schultz will talk about the Peramangk First Nations people’s connection to land.

“I’ve always been really interested in Aboriginal culture and their examples of sustainable management of the earth.

“I like to bring people to positive examples of how they could do things or how people are already doing things sustainably.”

Lunch will be a “rustic, shared wood-oven feast” with cheese, roasted chestnuts, soup, bruschetta, cider-poached chicken, wild greens and chestnut pastry fruit tart.

Guests will also be able to enjoy natural wine and apple cider.

“We will find wild greens and recently introduced species along the creek lines and they will be part of the lunch.

“The chicken will be stuffed full of chestnuts and pears and then poached in cider and roasted in the oven.

“You can’t create this kind of event again and you’re unlikely to get the same producers together on the same day so it will be very much a one-time-only bespoke kind of experience.”

Conscious Lifestyles will host its Forage, Feast and Ferment Adventure Tour on April 15 as part of this year’s Tasting Australia festival. Further information is available here.

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