‘Meet and One Veg’ – Nature Connection in the Gardens

Recently, we took a moment to acknowledge National Love People Day in the introduction to one of our weekly newsletters. If you were able to read it, we hope that it highlighted how important a sense of connection – and therefore, love – is for creating positive change in the world. While we spoke mainly to the need for reconnecting as people, let us not forget the importance of nature connection as well. The importance of nature connection is no better summarised than by Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.’ He says:

“We cannot protect something we do not love, we cannot love what we do not know, and we cannot know what we do not see. Or hear. Or sense.”

Nature connection is more than a vehicle for care of the natural world; nature connection can bring us a sense of peace and meaning on a personal level. Taking the time to learn a few plants and animals in your local area is a good place to start. To make things easier why not begin in a garden. Where food is present, your relationship with nature can go so much deeper. 

So, we thought we might kickstart a ‘Meet and One Veg’ series where we, from time to time, introduce some of the things you may find on a visit to one of our community gardens. It may spoil the title but we aim to showcase animals too. First off, we would like to introduce you to: 

Mountain Sorrel (Oxyria digyna)

This wee bundle can be found in the beds of University Hall. It is native to Scotland and found primarily in damp rocky areas in the mountains (was the name a give away?). It is not a big fan of very acidic soils but can be commonly found under a bird’s roost.

When eaten it has a sharp citrus taste making it a lovely garnish for a salad. If you are missing your lime or lemon, why not try using Mountain Sorrel as an alternative. The leaves contain oxalic acid giving it its flavour. It is definitely a leaf to be enjoyed in small quantities.

Here we can only give you a taster of what it is like. As Louv suggests, to truly get to know Mountain Sorrel you need apply your senses. With the sun out this weekend why not head on a tour of the spaces and find the Sorrel as well as other flora and fauna to befriend.