In an era when we have lost touch with nature in many ways, the Danish capital takes a step toward reconnection. Have you ever visited Copenhagen?
If you have, you should definitely go back because things are about to get even better!
The city council voted to plant public fruit trees, such as blackberry bushes and apple trees, in parks, playgrounds, cemeteries, churchyards, and sports facilities.
Astrid Aller, a Socialist People’s Party councilor in Copenhagen, endorsed the initiative and believes that the “interactive urban orchard” will help residents connect with their communities:
“We regard the city as something we all own. We want citizens to be able to use and connect with this collectively owned space.”
“Many Copenhageners do not have their own gardens, and as a result, they do not have the opportunity to see the learning process, including for children, that natural world is something that can be used. It may appear to be a minor detail, but it is part of our goal for Copenhagen to be a place you want to visit rather than a place you drive through.
“We want a city where you can be anywhere, not just at home, work, or in a park, but where the entire city is a place where people want to be.”
Local foraging has a long history in Denmark, and citizens have been permitted to harvest food from public lands since the Middle Ages.
They could also harvest from private lands with footpaths if they stayed on the trail.
The practice will now be permitted in urban areas as well.
According to Mikkel-Lau Mikkelsen, program manager at Vild Mad, an organization dedicated to demonstrating the ecological and gastronomic benefits of foraging:
“Foraging connects people to their surroundings. It’s the ultimate way for them to truly experience the environment they’re in: to taste it.”
René Redzepi, the chef behind Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant and one of the pioneers of New Nordic Cuisine, founded the organization.
If you’re planning a trip to Denmark, download Vild Mad, a free mobile app that will assist you with foraging, and enjoy the free, portable munchies!