Location: Vancouver Harbor Vancouver, BC
The foraging of foods which grow in the wild without cultivation or human assistance
Tyler collects wild seasonal foods for restaurants and chefs across North America. We agree to meet one morning at 9AM so he can show me the bull kelp harvest. I’m two hours late (border problems) so by the time we get to the water the tide has risen dramatically. Instead of casually picking kelp off the rocks, Tyler must dive into the frigid waters (in a steady downpour). I end up buying him lunch.
Bull Kelp grows all along the Pacific coastline ... from Southern California to Canada. It grows year round but the healthiest kelps are found in spring and summer.
The Truffle Dog
Location: The Truffle Orchard, Willamette Valley Vineyards
Featuring: Jim and Tom, the dog
Why do sustainable truffle hunters use dogs (and pigs) instead of rakes?
1.) Dogs only dig in the precise area where truffles can be found. Indiscriminate raking tears up the substrate around trees, creating irreparable root damage. It may even diminish future harvests.
2.) Truffles have a very pleasing aroma when ripe; hence dogs only find those ready for picking. Indiscriminate hunters often find immature and unripe truffles with little taste.
3. Truffles mature underground and require animals to unearth and disperse them. Raking is a much less effective method of spore dispersal.