EDIBLE AOTEAROA, with MAMAKAN: An introduction to foraging in Spring

8 December 2021 

Do you see food when you stroll through the bush? Did you know that native New Zealand plants are a rich source of food and flavour?


This introductory foraging course is designed to bring you closer to the seasonal flora of New Zealand and uncover the edible environment unique to Aotearoa.


Join Mamakan, your guide for this workshop, at Kelmarna Gardens to learn about native plants, what parts we can eat, and how to identify and engage with them in nature. In getting to know the world of edible native flora, you will focus in particular on a seasonal selection of three star species that are at their best in the bush this time of year.


What to expect:

Begin your session in the gardens with a discussion around species identification, edible elements, and responsible foraging. Then take off on a group wander through the riparian bush of our neighbouring Opoutukeha Cox’s Creek to look out for the native plants you’ve talked about and to connect your knowledge with practical experience in nature.


Following your exploration, you will return to the gardens to debrief the experience and delve into the culinary side of how to use the plants and what they actually taste like. Mamakan will guide you through a selection of recipes and tastings that highlight the session’s seasonal star species. This way you can follow up your trek with a sensory morsel of the species you've practiced identifying in nature.


Here are the three seasonal focus plants for this September workshop:

  • Tarata - lemonwood (Pittosporum eugenioides)

A tree with glossy, long leaves and wavy edges - with fragrant flowers, leaves, and sap that smell of sweet citrus, for flavour and scent

  • Mamaku - black tree fern (Cyathea medullaris)

A giant tree fern with a black trunk and thick, arching fronds - with edible frond piths great for drying and pickling

  • Kānuka - white tea-tree (Kunzea ericoides)

A tea tree, taller than mānuka, with leaves similar to mānuka, but soft to touch rather than prickly - with small white flowers and savoury leaves for brewing and essential oils.


About your guide:

Mamakan is a botanical artist working with art, cuisine and nature. She is originally from Aarhus, Denmark of nordic Vølve-Viking descent and has deep Scandinavian roots. 


Today, Mamakan is based in Parau, a forested area west of Auckland, New Zealand, where she creates contemporary fine art photography and multi-sensory art+food installations and exhibitions.


Mamakan's art practice is best described as 'GastroGeography' - the taste of a place. Her sensory artworks and collaborative projects amplify nature and aim to create a sense of belonging and well-being. 





Wednesday 8 December - 12:30am to 2:00pm (1.5 hours): $33 - $55 NZD  - for bookings click here