Saturday, 19 April 2014

Foraging

I will never weed in the same light again.

I attended my first meeting of the Cambridgeshire Self Sufficiency Group one evening a couple of weeks back. It was all about foraging, aka eating weeds. Later in the year, we're talking blackberries, sloes and crab apples. But at this time of year it's mostly leaves.
I started with a light snack of cleavers, followed by a sniff of a wild leek, a nibble of Jack-by-the-hedge, all washed down with a nettle scone.

At a time of year when there is what is known as a 'hungry gap', when the old crops are running out and we are waiting for this season's crops, nature is providing us with a wealth of fresh, green shoots.
Many of them have quite surprising flavours. More accents rather than in your face flavour, but not as much like grass as you'd think!

I doubt I'll ever get seriously into this type of foraging as I'm more into cultivating my own food and I can produce greens for this time of year if I so desire, but I may just occasionally dip into the store of free food which shoots up all around the smallholding. The odd lime leaf or violet flower would certainly add a trendy dash to a summer salad.

But, for now, I'll just use it as a good excuse for not dealing with my nettles!

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