My first foray into foraging was as a young girl with sparkling eyes and blue hands, sampling the sweet Autumn offering of bramble’s fruit.
My mother was an opportunistic forager and I had my first taste of Elderflowers in her homemade summer cordials; it was, and still is, one of my favourite flavours!
I recall helping to collect field mushrooms to be carefully placed in the basket, and I remember spotting a huge white puffball once, which felt victorious despite my unwillingness to partake in the eating. I hated mushrooms!
(Although that didn’t stop me from collecting other kinds of mushrooms, later in my teens; made into revolting tea, flavoured with heaped spoonful’s of instant coffee and sugar, and forced down with disgust and anticipation.)
In my adult life, my love of food and foraging have remained ever present. Of all the jobs I tried and loathed, I finally found my passion as a chef before committing to my most valuable and rewarding role as a mother to my now seven year old daughter. I stopped supporting the meat and dairy industries around the time she was a baby, and discovered an inspiring new world of plant based culinary delights. I also began to take more interest in health and nutrition, as well as growing my own herbs, fruits and vegetables; taking on an allotment plot for a few years, where I was often more fascinated by the so-called “weeds” than the cultivated plants. I was nicknamed the weed-eater by my bemused fellow allotmenteers!
My wild plant knowledge is limited and I have no formal experience or qualifications, I gradually advanced from blackberries and Elder flowers and berries to including nettles, wild garlic and hogweed shoots; slowly adding more wild plants to my mental directory. Through this blogging journey I hope to acquire a great deal more knowledge to share alongside my own recipes.
Despite the reckless mushroom adventures of my rebellious youth, I have been (sensibly) apprehensive about delving into the world of fungi foraging but in recent years, through following inspiring forager blogs, as well as developing a taste for mushrooms (properly cooked!), I have felt I am missing out on some delectable wild treats! Therefore I shall gradually and tentatively begin to build my fungi foraging knowledge and document it through this blog, as well as continuing to expand my wild plant knowledge and experience.
I will try to include the scientific names for plants as much as possible, not because I know them but because I recognise the value of using them for identification purposes, and hopefully they will become more familiar to me, as I use them.
I hope you enjoy reading about my foraging experiences and trying out my recipes, but please be aware that this blog is not intended to be used for identification purposes! I hope to encourage and inspire others in the wonderful world of foraging but you should never eat any wild food without absolute certainty of identification and safety. There are lot’s of great resources from foraging experts in the way of books and courses and I will recommend some of my favourites along the way.
Happy Foraging Foodies!