Last week I had the pleasure of catching up with Tomer Kilchevksy and Courtney Jean Perry, two talented food lovers, living out their biggest dreams of publishing a natural food guide of their Camino journey on the French Way called the Edible Camino.
If you haven’t already heard of them let me give you a bit of background. Tomer, from Israel, graduated from Green Mount College, Vermont with a degree in Agroecology and this is where he met fellow researcher and budding photographer Courtney. Having graduated with a degree in Sustainable agriculture and Art, Courtney developed a passion for harvesting wild foods. The journey began in 2013 when Tomar’s visa for the US expired and he decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime across Northern Spain.
Using his broad knowledge of plants, Tomar found himself gathering and dining upon the abundant plant-life. This led to his first expedition on the Camino de Santiago. Once he had immersed himself in the landscape he began to see that their was so much to learn from the plant-life, so he came up with the idea for an Edible guide for the Camino route. “And I said okay, I have this good idea I have 33 days to walk the Camino, if after 33 days I still still think its a good idea I should probably do it”. After this time he decided to go ahead with the project and this is when he rang fellow nature enthusiast Courtney to ask for her support.
Tomar has a copious amount of determination and belief in their abilities to bring the project to life; “We had nothing to lose, I felt like we had the capabilities and the knowledge and I thought that we could do it”. It is easy to see why Courtney jumped at the opportunity to join him. This led to a year long dedication to complete three Camino journeys, seeking the very best of edible produce from nature along the way.
The dynamic duo are re-pioneering the art of foraging, something that most of us indulge in as children but often fail to take advantage of as we get older. Only occasionally will we take a moment to stop and notice the rows of blackberry bushes that surround us each September. Through their journey they reveal the unique experience of the landscapes, people and food on the Camino, giving us a glimpse into where to find some nutritious snacks fresh from the hedges and fields all along the way.
To get some much needed support they started a Kickstarter campaign, this gave them access to 167 backers who wanted to help fund their research and the design of the Edible Camino guide.
Being a fellow foraging enthusiast, when I first read about the Edible Camino I couldn’t help but be intrigued so Tomar and Courtney hopped on the Skype machine to tell us all about their journey and goals. Both parties agree that the walking is the best part. Tomar describes the Camino Frances as a cultural route and says “…you find that in Spain there is a lot of culture, no matter where you go”. You can listen to our full conversation in the podcast below. Some of the sound may sound a little muffled but we are delighted to let you know that Tomar and Courtney are once again off on an adventure, starting in Porto and so were filming outdoors, on location.
You can get your copy of the Edible Camino on amazon and if you would like more information on any of the Camino routes you can contact one of our Travel Specialists.