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Is anyone into foraging?


I've recently become interested in finding out what is edible in our hedgerows. We do a lot of local walks and I'd really like to know more about what can be picked and eaten. We've had two meals at foraging restaurants where many of the ingredients have been foraged from the local countryside. Yesterday I bought a book about foraging and it sets out what you can pick and eat. There are many rules about foraging that cover plant sustainability. For example it's illegal to dig certain plants up to eat their roots. But there are many which you can use by picking a few leaves or flowers and serving them in salads or cooking them. Is anyone else interested in foraging, and, if so, have you any seasonal tips to share?

A few years ago we found a large puffball mushroom in our garden.   It was about the size of a football and rather than leave it to rot I sliced it, seasoned it and fried it in butter.  It had a slightly nutty flavour and the texture of tofu when cooked. 

They can be found during the autumn but then don't last long.   If you are going to eat one you must cut it through the centre and make sure it completely white and firm.   Any change in colour towards cream, beige or green should never be eaten.

Happy hunting.

My mother at 90 years old is still a great forager - elderflowers = wine and jelly, elderberries = wine and jelly, wild rosehips = jelly, blackberries = wine, jam and jelly. All of these from Gobions. I believe that the very young tender leaves of stinging nettles are delicious lightly boiled, and there are a number of wild flowers which add colour, texture and taste to salads.

I will pick up fresh roadkill if not completely flattened - the pheasants are particularly stupid at this time of year about crossing the road! Usually it's because the car in front of me has hit a pheasant, and I stop to see if it's injured and can I help, but it's always dead, sadly.


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