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On the hunt for edible plants with Elsje

Elsje Bruijnesteijn is a wild picker. That means she goes on the hunt for plants that grow in nature and that are edible for human beings. I was invited by her to go on a research trip in the Eempolder near Eemnes, because she is always looking fo new excursion spots.

We walked the so called wooden clog path (Klompenpad). This leads through a remarkable and old – typical Dutch – landscape, that we call a polder. That means: flat green meadows.

It is a protected area where a lot of special birds are to be seen.

We went here in early March to explore the site with Elsje.

Where’s the food?

One of the co-hunters came on her brand new wooden shoes! And claimed those walk very comfortable.

Well… I stick to my Meindls if you don’t mind ­čÖé

Elsje Bruijnesteijn wild picking

Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) when flowering also callled Dutch Lace. The flowers smell very nice.

Thistle + root: all edible, Elsje will explain this later in an extended blog ­čÖé

Purple dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum): the little flowers are sweet, full of nectar. Look nice in a salad!

Daisies, edible bitter stuff, but look cute on a salad or a cupcake.

Dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale) can be eaten as a salad. When it has grown underneath something (like a flower pot or a bunch of autumn leafs) it is fresh light yellow-green and tastes less bitter.

Elsje Bruijnesteijn wild picking

Portulaca oleracea (wild purslane).

goose eggs

Also goose eggs might be picked a few in the fields this early spring, as there are really too many of those birds at the moment: geese are becoming a plague…

In the harbour cafe the chef baked us a terrifically tasting omelet (because Elsje knows him).

Klompenpad Eemnes polderKlompenpad Eemnes met Elsje

Typical Dutch landscape: polders and willow lanes.

Elsje BruinesteijnKlompenpad Eemnes

Information on wild picking excursions with Elsje Bruijnesteijn

Elsje guides wild picking walks everywhere in The Netherlands. From Limburg to the Wadden Islands, to the Achterhoek. And what about Zeeland (oysters and sea salad!). She also gives kitchen garden tours and preservation/pickle workshops.

She is on Instagram, on Facebook (here she posts all her upcoming events) and she blogs. She also writes books about edible plants.


Information on this particular walking path

This is not the only Klompenpad in The Netherlands, there’s more in the provinces Utrecht and Gelderland. See the website with a map and an app.