Wild Edible is about merging primal roots and instinct with a passion for preparing and eating good food.
It's about foraging for wild food and medicinal plants and herbs, and it's about locally and sustainably grown veggies, as well as humanely raised meat, and how they all mesh together to nourish and sustain our bodies and souls.
Wild Edible is intended to inspire a deeper connection with the earth and our local communities. We hope you enjoy reading it.
As a chef, herbalist, gardener, forager and locavore, Cindy Halbkat specializes in using local, sustainable and wild food in her craft. From Cindy's first experience foraging, she realized that it fulfills an important primal instinct.
Since 1995, Cindy has been studying and exploring ways to integrate sustainable living into her life.
Over the course of 10 years she lived and served as chef and gardener at the Hambidge Center for the Arts, an artists' retreat located on 600 pristine acres of temperate rain forest in the Southern Appalachians.
While there, she learned to forage and incorporate wild foods in her meals. She also kept an organic kitchen garden and grew rare medicinal herbs, wild edible flowers and greens and heirloom vegetables.
Cindy has also studied practical herbalism for many years at several schools including Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism and Red Moon Herbs.
Through this training and her own experience, she has developed a strong understanding of the uses of native Southern Appalachian plants, as well as non-natives, for food and medicine.
As a result of her quest to learn about and utilize medicine from the earth, Cindy has developed a knack for cultivating medicinal plants, both rare and common.
She has been cooking professionally since 1993 and remains an advocate for wild foods playing a role in our diets.
As an herbalist/chef, she practices organic nutrition as a means of weaning and healing the body from the use of processed and chemically manipulated foods.
That's me. My earliest memories of foraging are picking blackberries and scuppernongs with my grandmother as a kid.
And she would sometimes send me out to dig sassafras roots for tea. The smell of sassafras always takes me back to her farmhouse kitchen.
In the early 1990s I started to get obsessed with primitive skills and learning about finding food in the wild, and I've been hooked ever since.
Cindy and I love to incorporate wild edibles in our meals when we can.
We occasionally lead wild food walks and of course write this blog together.
We've also appeared on GPTV's Georgia Traveler and had the honor of developing recipes and photographing them for the Idiot's Guide to Foraging.