Friday, 8 April 2011

Wild food weekend #4 - the Wrap up

Having spent the latter part of Saturday and almost all of last Sunday feeling decidedly under the weather [no - not the foraging but a bug going round at work I picked up for the weekend] once I felt slightly better and the sun came out on Sunday early evening I fancied a meander along the river. We discovered a great swathe of the broad leaved wild garlic Ramsons about 5 mins from home. Certainly closer than the previous stash I knew about of the narrower leaved type. [I just can't ascertain whether that is Field garlic - wrong leaves, Garlic chives - wrong flowers, or what. Plants for a future has a list of 19 types of 'garlic' and I'm still not sure.]We gathered some leaves and a few of the unopened flower heads having read somewhere on-line that these are good fried in a little butter. [Sorry - I just can't find it or remember where I saw this.] Always ensure you have the right plant - Ramsons can resemble the leaves of Lords and Ladies / Cukoo Pint which is very bad for you indeed. This is one below.


You will help yourself by foraging by hand too - don't cut big swathes with scissors or a similar instrument as you could easily get unwanted leaves in there along with the garlic. Lily of the valley is another plant with similar looking leaves that won't do us any good either.
As well as the Ramsons we found great swathes of nettles - far from the road so ideal for harvest, wild chives which I didn't even know about, mustard garlic and a plethora of other edible greens. We also mentally marked the position of some cherry trees so will return in season to see if they produce anything nice for us.

This was foraging at it's best - a gentle walk in the sun surrounded by the fresh smell of just-rained-on spring greenery drying out, in earshot of the river and it's wildlife with the bonus of some freebie tasty food. What more does one need? :-D [Other than a practical foraging bag of some kind but bear with me - it's in the mulling around stage in my head at present.]

Oh - nearly forgot to tell you - Chap said the squirrel tasted like a gamey pork, with an undertone of nuts / acorns. So not chicken then. :-D

5 comments:

  1. Ruth, I have thoroughly enjoyed your foraging series, thanks for writing it down. I have wild garlic in my garden and bittercress. Wild garlic leaves shredded and added to mashed potato is a dish made in heaven.

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  2. I have very much enjoyed these posts too - very informative. I also have wild garlic in my garden and it is almost ready to pick. Toni, I shall try it in mashed potato.

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  3. Many thanks for visiting my blog with the comments about the slow cooker!

    I very much enjoyed your foraging posts.

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  4. Thank you all, I'm glad you enjoyed the posts. :-) I haven't tried Wild Garlic in mash but I'll put it on the list. Have discovered another big patch behind the building where I work so it's very handy!

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