We gathered before 9am and then headed for the hillside.
As we walked up we spotted bamboo shoots and other edible wild plants.
Once we arrived at “base-camp” we held a meeting children and staff took turns at making suggestions for activities and the children reminded themselves of the basic rules: No throwing stuff! No wandering off! etc.
I suggested we look for more wild foods and harvest what we could find. A number children came with me and we made our way through the woods searching the undergrowth…
We found bamboo, itadori and wild beans (karasu-endomame).
The kids were excited to climb up the steep slopes and to wind their way through the woods.
At this time of year there are few insects around and this day was quite cold so even fewer than normal.
Moving around kept us warm and searching for plants kept us focused.
Once we had collected a good amount we brought them back to the cooking area so they could be used as part of lunch.
Other groups of children formed for other activities climbing trees, playing tag, building fires for cooking and food preparation etc.
We barbecued fish, chicken and vegetables, we wrapped some beef in foil and roasted it, cooked rice with the wild vegetables we had found and someone had the idea of smoking various foods so we experimented with that too.
We tidied up and had time for some more games and running around which ensured adults and children were fully exhausted before heading for home.