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"It's carnage!": a vibrant appeal to save wild garlic

What was feared is starting to happen in different regions...

We can never repeat it enough:

-Harvesting wild garlic is done in a reasoned way, like any harvest!

1/3 for our needs, not more.

-We pick by hand, leaf by leaf and not the whole plant...we select.

-we take care to preserve the buds and the leaves around which protect them, and to break the stems not to tear off the foot.

-Once in flowers, we do not pick any more the leaves (become bitter, sour...) And we take with the greatest parsimony some flowers if we wish it, to decorate preparations in fresh or in dry.

-Finally, we let the garlic grow, and if we want to get some seeds, we do it on different plants in order to allow the seeds to be resown regularly, to find the following year a nice garlic carpet.

This approach is essential ... The resurgence of wild garlic harvesting is starting to be seriously damaging, and some natural areas are declining because of the ravages of unreasoned harvesting...

And wild garlic is just one example of the many species that are over-picked in the wild.

Nature offers us enough to feed everyone.... provided that everyone thinks about others, and about future seasons!

"Take care of the earth so that it takes care of us."

A Neuchâtelois calls for no more picking of the buds of a plant that disappears when the flower is not fertilized.

He is an epicurean and a poet, but his latest anger has made him go off the deep end: in the readers' letter of the media "Arcinfo", Michel Max Baillod (65 years old) let loose about the picking of wild garlic, when it is the bud that is torn off. A practice deemed "stupid, selfish, irresponsible and against nature!"

Michel Max Baillod lives in La Brévine (NE). He puts wild garlic in butter and in a sausage he named "Meu Meu". has already met him when he sells his artisanal products in restaurants, when he is not at the market in Neuchâtel. But Michel does not preach for his business: "It is nature that I defend, the one that we must transmit intact to our descendants".

This enthusiastic fan has noticed a new practice that consists in making the buds of wild garlic the equivalent of capers, next to the pickles, when eating a raclette. "By the jarful," he insists. Michel has known the Neuchâtel "spots" for several years: "I have noticed a significant drop in regrowth," he says.

"I did not become alarmed immediately, thinking first of all of the effects of a certain meteorological reality", explains Michel Max Baillod, who sees in bear's garlic a "marvelous plant of the amaryllidaceae family".

Large quantities

"When you pull out a bud, it's a flower that won't bloom," Michel says. His wrath was passed on to the Neuchâtel Service of Wildlife, Forests and Nature, indicating that "more and more people, probably without scruples - what an ignominy - cut and take large quantities of wild garlic buds to prepare a condiment".


"What an aberration, what a massacre, it's a carnage!", Michel Max Baillod, hunter, fisherman and mushroom grower, is furious. "Let's stop this scandalous practice immediately. In a few minutes, an individual can devastate, annihilate a natural annual production of plants for the coming year on tens of square meters".

"If nothing is done right away, in a few years there will be no more wild garlic growing in our undergrowth, on our river banks, in our forest edges and other stream banks, what a misery", says Michel Max Baillod. By specifying that the gathering of the leaves does not cause any damage. On the contrary, "it strengthens the roots". With twelve leaves and six eggs, Michel advises to make a slobbery omelette which does not leave any smell in the mouth, unlike pink garlic.

This indignant man found an evocative parallel: "Let's imagine that some fools decide to make a condiment, a jam of cherry blossoms in bud: no more cherries in summer", he compared. And Michel ends with a conjugation: "I am nature, you are nature, we are nature". Way of saying that nature does not need us, but that we do not need her...


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