Wild Foraging in Iceland

wild harvest in Iceland - Robyn Francis

I’ve just been on a wild forage walk harvesting a salad for dinner tonight. This has become a daily joy since I arrived here in Iceland three days ago.

On the bus journey from the airport into Reykjavik I noticed a lot of familiar plants growing on the roadside including Coltsfoot, Meadowsweet and Dandelions and couldnt wait to go exploring. I was picked up by Moli, the permaculture course convenor, and taken to stay on a farm not far from the city.

We took the long scenic route to see some countryside and stopped off for a walk at the rift valley where the North American and European plates meet.

The rift valley, Iceland
The rift valley, Iceland


The scenery is quite striking with the rough rocky lava fields colonised by a diversity of mosses and herbs with a back drop of mountains and the occasional plumes of steam rising from thermal power plants. When we arrived at our first stay, I made of use of the extended twighlight to do a little foraging and check out what herbs and edibles were growing, and harvested a sampling to have with dinner.

On our second day we explored Reykjavik and checked out the cultural festival before driving to the course venue where we’ll be living for the next two weeks.

the Rainbow road in Reykyavik
the Rainbow road in Reykyavik


It’s such a joy to rediscover some of my favourite temperate wild herbs and edibles growing everywhere — this is an old obsession from the years I lived in Bavaria back in the 1970s. Here are some of my temperate plant friends I’ve been discovering here:

The weather hasn’t been so kind. It’s been cold and quite a bit of rain since I arrived. Yesterday the maximum temperature was 10 deg C. However this afternoon the sun came out and I went for a lovely walk up the hill to see the waterfall and forage for tonight’s dinner.

Along the way I discovered some patches of wild blueberries – so delicious. I also discovered some Crowberries, very similar to blueberry with a smaller darker fruit, growing on a mossy kind of ground cover, only a couple of centimeters  high.



Tomorrow the PDC begins.  Looking forward to co-teaching with Albert bates, meeting the participants from all over Europe and exchanging lots of valuable information and inspiration over the next two weeks.


Robyn Francis, August 24, 2015

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