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We Grow Wild

(Per il testo in Italiano clicca qui.)

How can we become more resilient while integrating our needs with the integrity of the environment in which we live?

How can we become active and beneficial participants in the ecological environment around us through our food practices?

We Grow Wild is an exploration and an invite to learn to forage wild plants to reconnect with the ecological system around us. This project glimpses at nature's relationships to introduce more resilience, abundance and interdependency with the bioregional environment around us. 

This project unfolds within the Regenererative Design and Metadesign frameworks which are  process-oriented, whole system approaches to design. The term "regenerative" describes processes that co-evolve in a partnered relationship between the socio-cultural and ecological systems. The purpose of these design fields is to create resilient and equitable processes and systems to integrate people needs with the integrity of Nature.



This project is for everyone who's curious enough to be open for and appreciate the simple complexity and richness of the wild  environments.

We grow wild explores foraging practices and gives some tools to start exploring wild edibles and their uses .

Wegrowwild project exhibit


We Grow Wild is the result of a collaboration bewteen a designer, two beasket weavers and some people living in a rural area in Umbria, Italy.

THE "final" DESIGN: 

A simple process designed to help people who are interested to know more about wild edibles, to start to connect with foraging practices and include them in their lives. This process is designed by bridging the knowledge of the different collaborators in an accessible and playful way. 

Elements of the project

  • Exploring foraging practices to become more interconnected with our bioregion and challange our food-habits and cultural beliefs 
    • Creativity: creation of simple recipes with wild ingredients; (Here's the link to the Youtube channel for simple wild recipes)
    • Wild Week: A week long experiment in which we ate mainly foraged food collected in the rural ares of the Umbria region (Italy). Here's the link to the dedicated page.
  • Documenting: daily sharing of the progresses, mistakes and findings on Social Networks (Instagram and Facebook)  
  • Designing a process to start to learn and connect with wild edibles
    • Find your wild ally: a process designed to help people to start learning about wild edibles. This process comes in two versions, an analogue kit and an online interactive journey.
    • Wild walks: gathering a group of interested people to go out and forage together to learn from eachother.
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Aim and "whys"

Food is one of the primary necessities and joys that every being needs. This is why it is important to ask ourselves more questions about what we eat, where it comes from and what kind of processes are involved in the production and cultivation of our food.

Nowadays, in the Western countries, the food industry and the agroindustrial system prioritize efficiency, quantity over quality (mass production) and economic gain, neglecting, or even voluntarily compromising, the well-being and health of the organisms and the ecosystem from which the resources are extracted. All of these practices have destructive effects, which for decades seemed invisible or possible to contain, but today are increasingly alarming.

The food industry and the eating habits of the developed countries are causing not only the loss of that ancient and fundamental wisdom on how to provide for ourselves, but above all the loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, the extinction of different species and famine in more and more countries around the globe.

My question is: Are we willing to make a change in our food-related practices and influence (or maybe even slowly reverse) the problems that our wonderful planet is facing?

I have seen deserts turned into healthy and prosperous oasis thanks to the desire and the commitment to collaborate with Nature instead of against it; I’ve heard of communities that, by changing their habits and learning to observe and cooperating with nature, have reversed their fate from scarcity and illness to abundance and resilience.

This is why this project focuses on questioning and changing our eating habits by reconnecting with our wild nature, getting what we need and at the same time taking care of the how and where we source our food.

In my research I have found that foraging (using/eating/sudying wild plants) and permaculture gardening are the best ways to free ourselves from dependency to the conventional food  system that often creates scarcity and decay. In the first part of the project I'll be focusing on foraging.

⇓ Brief summary

In short, there is nothing wrong with exchanging money or resources to procure or grow the food we need especially if there is fairness and deep care for the organisms and the land we tend. However, if we depend on a system that degrades the resources and kills the species involved, exploits the people who work for it and produces tasteless or / and polluted food, then it is important to find and implement new (or ancient) alternative ways.

To conclude, We Grow Wild explores foraging as a practice that empowers and connects us to the environment in which we all live.

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Getting to know our wild allies

Learning about wild plants and starting to work with and incorporate them in our lives can be definitely an overwhelming process. In fact, the botanical world is so vast and there are so many species that look very similar to one another. Yet, there is no rush and if we are patient and curious enough, we'll soon know how to identify most of the wild weeds that surround us.

I am still a beginner forager and because of that, I decided to design a small process that will help myself and others too to start foraging.

The process includes 14 cards of one wild plant each, which can be printed and hanged in your room or simply consulted every once in a while.

Each card displays the plant and its english and scientific name and refers to a booklet where you can find all the information related to that specific plant.


You can use this card deck how you prefer but my invitation for you is to choose one card a day and do the following steps:


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Process' steps
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WILD WEEK:A food experiment

From the 10th to the 17th of March I want to do a small and fun experiment which consists in eating mostly foraged food for a week. 

This is a design experiment to research if it's possible to not only feed yourself but thrive with mostly what you forage in the wild in this specific bioregional site.


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Restoring an abandoned space to create a small-scale permaculture garden

Experimenting with sloth-gardening (similar to Phenoculture: slow and easy gardening - click here for more info about this concept) to give good food-good practices to the community.

Click here to find more info about this.

Before and after
Social media