Festive Foraging

by Inga Yandell

Festive Foraging

As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. Sharing a skill, a gem of wisdom or a cultural tradition, embraces this sentiment in a unique and creative way!

Festive foraging resonates all these virtues, gathering natures gifts away from the hustle of Harrods. A resourceful ramble in nature not only lifts the spirits but makes a great family outing and educational experience for the kids.

From forest ornaments to flower cordials, natures store-cupboard is brimming with ingredients for wild crafted creations.

I’d like to share a few of my favourites, wishing all our readers a very merry christmas.

Go Hive Hunting

Bee’s provide a cornucopia of christmas goodies, wax for homemade candles, native honey and honeycomb are natural sweets which make wonderful alternatives to store bought candies or used to create cookies, cakes, honey wines and meads. You could also make personalised skincare, everything from face masks and body scrubs to first aid for the survival kit (honey makes a wonderful remedy added to hot lemon water for sore throats, or when applied topically to help heal open wounds and sunburn). Simply bottle and label your gift as intended or bundled in a basket with fresh lemons and other ingredients as a DIY gift to encourage your friends and family to try their hand at baking and making their own bespoke recipes. You are not only sharing a skill but nurturing a new appreciation for natures versatility.

Make the most of Honey: naturalnews.com/035721_raw_honey_hair_first_aid.html#

Find a local beekeeper: apiarymap.com

Bee’s Downunder: www.amazingbees.com.au/useful-links.html

Forage for Flowers

Floral art can manifest as a botanical sketch, a photograph, or pressed and framed original. You could also use the pigments to pattern and color linen. Native flowers reflect biodiversity beautifully, something distinctive and special to share with friends overseas. Besides art, flowers like honey can be used to craft bespoke skincare, haircare, and scents or used as ingredients to add natures flavour to foods and beverages. I recommend borrowing a guide book from the library or googling flower identification and uses, to ensure your harvest is edible. Do check for picking penalties, not every neighbourhood garden or local park offers free flowers.

Craft with Compost

Handcrafted gifts which repurpose, and reimagine organic materials also reflect our ancient relationship with nature. Man has been crafting from wood, stone and various other natural materials for thousands of years, celebrating nature in creations imbued with the wonder and wisdom of the wild. Let your inner artist be inspired by what you find outside, ornaments, decorations, jewellery, garlands, party favours, nature napkins these are just some of the ideas out there.

Quick Crafts: www.bhg.com/crafts/easy/30-minute-projects/quick-nature-crafts/

Kid Crafts: rainydaymum.co.uk/natural-ornaments-crafts-to-make

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
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