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Lei'Ohu

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I recently embarked on a unique foraging adventure with Sunny Savage on Maui.

In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of delving into the world of wild edibles, learning about invasive species, and gaining a new perspective on protecting the local flora.

Sunny Savage in her garden on Maui
Sunny Savage wild food hike weed

My Personal Background In Foraging

I’m no a stranger to foraging. It’s always been a way for me to connect with nature, discover hidden treasures, and expand my culinary horizons.

My husband nags me to push onward on hikes, when I invariably stop to marvel and collect nature’s treasures–every two minutes.

Why I Signed Up For A Foraging Adventure With Sunny Savage

My encounter with Sunny Savage promised a fresh perspective.

Eager to learn how to transform invasive plants into nourishing meals while contributing to environmental protection, I signed up for a Maui wild food foraging adventure. 

I brought my daughter along to the experience hoping that would it spark her curiosity about the natural world from a young age. I think it worked!

The Foraging Experience Through Sunny’s Garden

Our adventure began at Sunny’s “urban farm” in Wailuku. This serene haven boasts a massage room, sauna, and an inviting semi-outdoor bathtub. 

Savage Farms by Sunny Savage on Maui

Sunny warmly welcoming us with a cup of invigorating tea infused with butterfly pea flower and tulsi. This set the tone for a mellow yet enriching day ahead.

As we talked story, we ventured just a few steps into her garden. To my surprise, the “weeds” I had often overlooked held incredible potential. 

Savage Farms Maui wild food
Sunny Savage wild food hike bitter melon

One such revelation was wild amaranth, a prickly adversary I had been battling at my new building site.

Little did I know that this seemingly stubborn weed was a nutritional powerhouse. Wild Amaranth is full of phytonutrients and Sunny promised that it was delicious as well.

Our exploration continued as we sampled heart-shaped oxalis, a delightful treat rich in magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. Distinct from clover, this unassuming plant opened my eyes to the bounty that had been lying at my feet, waiting to be discovered. 

Edible weeds on Maui with Sunny Savage
foraging for wild food on Maui Bidens Pilosa
Bidens Pilosa on Maui foraging

Another nutrient-rich powerhouse we were introduced to was Bidens Pilosa, more commonly known as Spanish needle, or hitch-hikers.

We encountered many more wild lettuces and nutrient-dense greens that had previously escaped our notice.

And we learned to differentiate between young koa and its invasive lookalike, Haole Koa. Terrible name, I know.

Sunny told us she makes delicious “capers” out of the young Haole Koa seed pods. Protect the environment by eating invasive plants as a delicious treat?! Ingenious!

Haole Koa invasive plant on Hawaii
Sunny Savage foraging hike

Enriching Our Foraging Knowledge

After our foraging escapade, we retreated to Sunny’s cozy sitting room to conclude our day.

Here we engaged in a Q&A session about foraging for wild foods on Maui. Sunny shared her extensive knowledge of ethnobotany, leaving us inspired. Book recommendations, included.

Books about foraging on Maui

She send me on the way with a bag of curry leaves from her garden, which I’m brewing into Ayurvedic hair oil.

Insights From Our Foraging Adventure With Sunny Savage on Maui

Foraging for wild food is not just a culinary endeavor. It’s a journey of discovery, connection, and appreciation for the bounties of nature. 

My experience with Sunny Savage on Maui reminded me that there is much around us that we don’t know about, just waiting to be discovered and used.

Casava plant on Maui
Papaya tree on Maui

Review of Foraging Hike With Sunny Savage on Maui

Pros: Whether you’re an experienced forager or a novice with a budding interest in plants, a wild food foraging adventure with Sunny is a captivating exploration that promises to broaden your horizons and deepen your connection with the natural world.

Cons: While our current adventure had unfolded in Sunny’s garden, I couldn’t help but imagine how much better it would be have been to embark on a foraging hike through the Makawao Forest Reserve or a jungle-draped landscape in West Maui with her to open our eyes to more treasures. 

That is the one con to this experience, I’d say. I had imagined the foraging hike that I had booked, as a true hike as opposed to a stroll through her urban farm.

More Foraging Adventures

Here are some more foraging adventures near and far: from Maui to Germany and France, and back.

> Foraging Germany’s Forests & Wild Meadows

> Foraging For Wild Flower On Maui

> Foraging For Sea Salt Along La Perouse

> How To Forage On Maui

Hope to see you in paradise soon,

Foraging With Sunny Savage

Highlights: 

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