Many of you are probably aware of our coconut piracy foraging adventures here in Suriname, but we also forage for water hyacinth about once a week.
🐊 The Only Rule ⚠️ Don't Fall In 🐍
The aptly-named water hyacinth is water-loving, and foraging can be quite a delicate task if you don't plan on swimming with snakes and caimans. Even in our neighborhood here in Suriname, there are several caimans around the corner from our apartment in a ditch, just living their best reptilian lives.
Water hyacinth used to be a big part of our diet in Cambodia, and having discovered them after living here for two years, we are grateful to have this wild edible in our lives again, although foraging for it comes with a calculated risk.
I can't recall ever being concerned for mini crocodiles in Cambodia when seeking out these delicious flowers, but then again we always bought our water hyacinth at the market. Surinamers don't have a wide variety of plants they like to consume, so if you want to eat water hyacinth here, you have to get it yourself.
KISS 😗 Keep It Simple Stupid
It's hard to explain the joy such simple things bring me, but after being stranded for two years, simple things like a bike ride and some flower picking with Monkey-B can easily be the highlight of my day. I am constantly reminded of an acronym I used to embrace in my former life as a mountaineer and climber: KISS, "Keep It Simple Stupid." This acronym still serves me well in many aspects of life to this day.
It's hard to explain the joy such simple things bring me, but after being stranded for two years, simple things like a bike ride and some flower picking with Monkey-B can easily be the highlight of my day, and most importantly it is a huge morale booster. Gotta keep the troops happy right?
💜 Purple Power With Monkey-B 💪
I think Monkey-B and I have a similar take on life, and you may have noticed she is more often than not the family member that goes with me on adventures our tiny apartment. She particularly enjoys water hyacinth harvesting because it's something she can reach and pick all by herself.
As you might be able to notice in the photos, this is an activity that Monkey-B quite enjoys, and it's far less stressful than coconut piracy, because coconuts are heavy and awkward to transport, leaving Monkey-B with little ability to help beyond being a lookout.
Believe it or not, this is another food that Monkey-B likes to eat raw more than cooked. They are very brittle however, and the flowers quickly begin falling off if not cooked within a few hours after picking. Although they are 90% water weight, the dried matter contains anywhere between 10% to 26% protein, quite amazing for a humble swamp flower.
United Nations Universty
Possible utilization of the water hyacinth in nutrition and industry