Food Group Activities
FEEDBACK ON FORAGING FORAY on 17th April 2010
The warmth of the sun, the fresh green of the newly-clothed willows, the cheerful medley of bird song, and the hopeful curiosity of the village ducks – this was the scene that greeted nine of us and Sparky as we gathered at Sutton Poyntz for the First ever WPTT Foraging Foray.
After introductions and reminding ourselves of the ‘Guidelines for Picking’, we were off. Our route (previously reconnoitred by Claire & Sparky in pouring rain) was a simple, but delightful walk – alongside the Pumping Station, through a field and woodland to our picnic site on the lower slopes of the Ridgeway.
These are some of the culinary delights we found along the way.
In the field and hedgerow:
Young Hawthorn leaves
Young Dock leaves
Hairy bittercress (very tasty – kind of peppery)
Cleavers (needs to be cooked like spinach)
Thistle stems (carefully dethistled by James & Jon)
Stinging nettles ( a demo by Claire of how to pluck and eat the leaves without even a slight sting was very useful)
In the woodland:
Wild garlic – Ransoms (very tasty, a wonderful addition to our sandwiches)
On the hillside above the picnic place, we found Gorse flowers.
Yes, it was a good beginning to our Foraging excursions – an opportunity to appreciate the generosity of nature, to walk the earth with awareness, to take in the beauty of the Dorset countryside, and to enjoy each other’s company.
A rich feast indeed.
FUTURE FORAGING FORAYS
Enjoy the culinary delights on offer in the wild throughout the seasons. Learn from each other about the plants and their many uses.
Our intention is to have at least one walk each season and so, gradually gather a picture of the wild foods available in the Weymouth & Portland area.
Watch this space for the next event, probably in July.
We ask that each person on the walks takes responsibility for their own safety (parents take responsibility for their children). Walk only where you feel it is safe for you to walk and gather only what you feel it is safe for you to eat.
GUIDELINES FOR PICKING
We want to encourage mindful foraging – having respect for the earth, for the plants and nature, and for ourselves.
- Pick only from plants that you are certain that you can accurately identify.
- Take only as much as you need.
- Take small quantities from several plants.
- Use scissors or a sharp knife so as not to damage the plant.
- Never strip a plant of leaves, berries or whatever part you are picking.
- Remember; food feet not food miles.
1 large bunch chickweed
3 tablespoons French dressing
3 teaspoons chopped chervil
2 crisp apples, chopped into cubes
Wash the chickweed and mix with the apples. Add the chervil to the French dressing and blend. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Hawthorn and Beetroot Salad
½ pint hawthorn buds or young leaves
2 cooked beetroots, diced
Wash the hawthorn and combine with the diced beetroot. Add the French dressing and mix well.
Young hawthorn leaves, picked between April and May have a pleasantly nutty taste. They also go well when mixed with a potato salad.
Wild garlic or Ramsoms
The fresh young leaves can be used in salads or added to soups and stews as flavouring.
Food for Free by Richard Mabey ,1972
Wild Food by Roger Phillips. 1983
Contact Andrea on 07983093717 for further inspirational information!
Come and be enthusiastically inspired to help us grow more food locally.