This year we continue the tradition of Zaube Wild Food Festival in online master classes, lectures, and a few walks in nature. We cannot come together. However, we will remember this festival as the time of COVID-19, when the world suddenly had to stop.
This period of time most vividly illustrated the importance of nature in our lives. Latvia’s countryside, nature trails in forests and swamps suddenly filled with people. It was the connection with the wildlife that helped many to survive this time of the coronavirus, not to fall into depression and avoid other serious health problems.
The constant mission of Zaube Wild Food Festival is to invite people to better understand nature, help appreciate its gifts, to explain the relationship between man and nature, which is expressed in mutual care. Culinary is a unifying, very interesting and diverse domain for all parties – it helps start a difficult conversation, learn new things and have fun together.
This year we were able to learn how to use wildlife products by watching a series of cooking master classes. In these, knowledge and experience where shared by Raitis Legzdiņš and Rasa Zeimula (the Hunters and Anglers Club Zaube), the owner of the Brantu manor Ilze Briede (she had won the title Īstās latvju saimnieces), as well as great chefs Toms Ritvars Logins, Oskars
Freiborns, and Ina Poliščenko. In a cycle of four lectures, our wildlife plant expert Vaira Kārkliņa spoke about the use of plants in food, health, beauty, and home cleanliness.
At the beginning of the summer, in the meadows around Zaube, a small group of people led by Evita Lūkina (Ozoliņi farm) went to explore herbs, but in the autumn we went picking mushrooms in the forest with mycologist Diāna Meiere. She later taught us how to dye yarns with mushrooms in incredibly beautiful colors.
This year we could not invite and enjoy the company of our international partners of Wild Wonders project: Scotland’s Forth Valley and Lamond Leader group, Jonišķis and Utena region local action groups from Lithuania, Saldus District Development Association, and Vaara-Karjalan Leader group from Finland. Nevertheless, we effectively collaborated with them, and our common interest in wildlife and nature resulted in this beautiful, small recipe book.
Eva Koljera, curator of the festival.
Supported by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Service of Latvia. Project Nr.18-00-A019.333-000022 Savvaļas brinumi – Wild Wonders is being carried out as part of Latvia’s Rural development programme for 2014-2020 and its sub-activity 19.3 – Interterritorial and international exchange. The programme falls within the framework of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.