Sunday, 27 January 2013

First forage of the year

 As the sun made a rare appearance today the Chap and I went for little bimble along the river before heading for a lovely roast for National Potato Day.  (Really.)
I wanted to take a certain route to see if there was any sign of the wild garlic yet and we were super pleased to spot some sprouting through the mud in our favourite spot.  Due to all the rain and melted snow the river's rather higher than is the norm so the most advanced plants were on the sunny bank that was also most nearly flooded - here's yours truly harvesting, pretty much 'in' the river!  Nearer the camera and behind me you can see the thin sprouts where the plants in a little more shade are still just pushing through the earth.
As we didn't get too much garlic (it's still early in the year after all) I also picked a handful of nettle tops and I'll pop them all in a soup/stew with some beans, veg and whatever comes to hand later. 
Very pleasing to know that even in January we can get some free tasty food with the minimum of effort walking and rummaging in the undergrowth.  It was a thoroughly pleasurable amble in the sun so I wouldn't really count it as effort myself.  Also nice to see that it looks like a healthy year for the wild garlic as we want to make masses more pesto from it this year.  Top stuff - we ran out far too fast last year! 
We finished the afternoon by going for the aforementioned roast at The Mill on The Exe, a riverside pub near us where they have the distinct advantage of doing a veggie option on the carvery.  Being right on the river they do have somewhat tenuous boundaries to their garden area!


  1. Ramsons so soon? I shall have to check if they are coming up in my garde!

    1. I think we've been lucky down here in getting hardly any snow or proper frosts so we went with fingers crossed and were happy to spot them. Hope yours are fighting through too!

  2. I hadn't even thought of looking just yet..I usually find them in April...I'll have to keep my eyes peeled! What do you put in your pesto? Would love to know your recipe:-) (pretty please with sugar on and a cherry on the top)

    KKWF ^..^

    1. We do get things earlier sometimes being down here in 'sunny' (??!) Devon. Really just went on the offchance so a good find.
      We made the pesto first time last year (thought I'd posted it but evidently not)and used HFW's recipe from the Hedgerow foraging book but changed pignuts to pinenuts - so our adapted version is - 50g wild garlic leaves, 30g pinenuts - toasted gently, 30g parmesan grated, 80ml olive oil, S+P. Whiz it all up, stick in a sterilised jar, store in fridge. Ensure top covered with oil too. Enjoy often and keep vampires away with much success!!

    2. I've remebered that on one batch we also adde a little frshly squeezed lemon juice plus the zest and that made a really lovely difference to it. It also makes it even more 'our recipe'. :-)


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