Its here!!!

OK, so Spring has officially arrived – that’s it – you can stop waiting.  To celebrate the extra day, Spring has arrived in February!  Prove it, I hear you cry, OK – 3 reasons that I know spring has come…

1. On the way to work I spotted hawthorn bursting into bud and stopped for a nibble

2. On the way home I picked Wild Garlic leaves just poking through (be certain they are not Lily of the Valley – looks simular, smells very different obviously!)

3. Whilst picking said Garlic to be added to chicken, tomato and basil sauce, I collected enough Field (Arrow/Sheep) Sorrel to go in my tomorrow.

What more proof do you need?  Here’s to good foraging in 2012, she says raising a delicious glass of 2010 blackbery wine : )

 

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The Wild Food Walker arrives, continued…….

I indeed went to the pub last night and enjoyed sampling 2 beers. One was the tried, tested and trusted Jerusalem from the wonderful MD and Head Brewer at Brampton Brewery – Chris. The other was something a little out of the ordinary and was Portland Black from the Welbeck brewery. An excellent beer and definitely gives the Brampton Bock a run for its money !

So enough of  beer, and back to the list of yesterdays finds.

Chickweed – great drifts growing well and at this time of year a treat to steam.

Garlic Mustard – Tiny leaves poking through here and there, still quite bitter at first taste but packing the mustard punch.

Ransoms – The first leaves just showing maybe 4 inches long. A real treat, too early to pick in bulk but what a sweet garlic treat to nibble in bimble.

Blackberry – told you there would be a surprise ! No fruit but the stems are starting to colour up which means we will be into bramble growing season shortly. This means two things – this is your last chance to get rid of brambles in unwanted places and to look forward to bramble tips in a few weeks.

Shepherds purse – mostly found in the dog pee zone so avoided but a good mix with chickweed when clean.

Hawthorn – just coming into bud so only a few weeks til the young leaves are bursting, another wonderful nibble in bimble.

Elder – similarly, just coming into bud so kep a sharp look out for elder buds and shoots for a really unusual pickle.

On the subject of Elder don’t forget the Jelly (Jews) ear fungus. Last week in Graves park (Sheffield) I found a felled tree which clearly was not Elder and had about 2 kilos of useable Jelly ear and a hand full of Velvet Shank growing on it. Cue an interesting evening meal !

This morning out for a swift walk and the first Cumfrey shoots are through – debatable as to edibility but a gift of a plant otherwise.

If you read this far I would be interested to know if Latin plant names would be a help or a hindrance.  ?

The Wild Food Walker arrives !

I am the good friend and fellow forager Anne referred to in her post of July 17, 2011. She invited me to share he blog back in September and as the new year dawned 6 weeks ago I have decided to take her up on her kind offer.

Out on of my regular rambles today (colloquially known as a BIMBLE, e.g. “odd bloke that, often see him bimbling round”) I enjoyed the intense and low in the sky (is it late winter or early spring ?) sun.

What surprised me was the 10 edible species I found.

The Dandelions are up and now is probably a good time to blanch them for salads in a few weeks.

The nettles are just starting to stir and I reckon stinger pesto will be on the menu in a fortnight.

Dead Nettles were also there in abundance and ready for steaming now.

I will post the other 7 finds up soon, you may be surprised at some of them. But right now I’m off to the pub to indulge my love of real ale.

Nettles?

Well admittedly its a little early to be out foraging, but despite the wintery weather, there is still a definate early spring feel out there!  I was out today inspecting my ‘pet’ sorrel patch, but its not doing very much yet, but it won’t be long.  : -)

However, I thought i would just share with you that I came across a most biazarre thing today – my son bought himself some sweets – Rowntrees (Nestle) Jelly Aliens which have in big letters on the front that they contain 25% fruit juice.  In very very very small letters on the back  (which he read – I do have better things to do!) were listed the ingredients – including  ‘Fruit and vegetable concentrates (Hibiscus, Carrot, Pepper, Safflower, Spinach, Nettle)’  Now I have to say that I think that is one of the wierdest selection of ingedients, but I can’t work out why they would put those strange things in – answers on a postcard!