Responsible Foraging with Roushanna Gray of Veld and Sea
Mindful and mystical, Roushanna Gray founded her wild food foraging brand Veld and Sea to create an educational and immersive space.
Roushanna Gray is the founder of wild food foraging brand Veld and Sea, which she created as an educational and immersive space for exploring alternative, all-natural ingredients.
Roushanna Gray's Body of Work
I use my mouth to taste and teach, and to convey knowledge and information in a succinct and effective manner so it may be remembered and passed on. I use it when I forage, to find the best food to use when I work. This includes anything wild, fresh, seasonal, delicious and covered in edible flowers.
My ears are for listening to questions and stories, and are essential for communication in a team. I like to create Spotify playlists and play them according to how I’m feeling. I have everything from Wild Child to The Wood Brothers in ‘Folky Tunes’, Michael Kiwanuka to Dojo Cuts in ‘Evening Music’, and The Beatnuts to The Pharcyde in ‘Watch Out Now’. I also have playlists for all of my Veld and Sea workshops to set specific moods. But my best ideas always happen in silence – when I’m putting my children to bed, driving alone along a coastal road, or walking in the mountains.
I’ve always connected to food through my hands. Growing up in a multicultural kaleidoscope of a family, we ate breyani with our fingers at Eid, scooped gefilte fish dip up with matzo crackers at Passover, and searched through a slice of pudding for coins at Christmas. I use my hands to connect with the landscape by swimming, feeling the textures of plants and seaweed, picking flowers, surfing, planting, beach-combing, harvesting, creating natural plant dyes, making sandcastles with my kids, weeding, weaving flower crowns, climbing a mountain... all of this is linked to my work.
These take me everywhere I need to be – through the fynbos, up forest trails or across rocks in tidal pools. The rhythm of the seasons is everything and ever-changing. Wild foods have microseasons you need to tune into. I’m barefoot in summer and have boots on in winter.
When I’m teaching, you can find me in a rockpool, up a tree or in a bush of succulents. I walk and talk, I’m up and down, but I prefer to cook and create sitting or standing still. I used my legs the most during raging wildfire in November 2017, which surrounded the nursery where I live and work. After the blaze, I explored the new moon landscape every single day that the wind wasn’t blowing. I walked up the mountain and zigzagged all over the surrounding land, getting to know the new terrain. I was like a ship lost at sea with no plants as landmarks until they started to grow again.