Lonnie Olsen

Getting into wild foods

The Alberni Valley is chock full of wild foods.

Living off the bounty of the land might seem like something that only happens out in the wilderness but Janette Cormier and Lonnie Olsen have been doing it for years.

When the couple lived in a more rural location, Cormier said that “more than half, including wild meat like deer, bear, salmon.”

Now that they live within the city, it’s a little harder.

“50 per cent, that’s what we strive for but it’s more challenging when we live in town.”

Their son, Moinn, even started his foray into solid foods with wild foods.

But while Cormier and Olsen have been eating wild foods for years, it’s now becoming a trend.

“There’s an increasing interest in the Pacific Northwest,” Cormier said, adding that she sees it as a result of an upsurge in interest in sustainably produced locally grown foods.

While there are both print and online resources for those looking to get into eating wild foods, Cormier recommends learning at least the basics from someone in person in order lessen the learning curve.

To that end, the couple gave a wild foods seminar at the Best Western Barclay Hotel on Monday, Sept. 22. The event, which was hosted by the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley, aimed to increase participants’ awareness of wild foods and to give them an idea of what plants and fungi are edible, and which are not.

“The best way is to learn from someone who is doing it all the time and has been doing it for a while, so with plant identification walks and mushroom walks,” Cormier said.

Cormier and Olsen offer plant and mushroom walks locally through the Echo Centre. To register, call Echo Centre at 250-723-2181.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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