Jack by the Hedge

Well spring has definately sprung then – in the past fortnight we have gone from no-leaves-on-trees in mid April to glorious-walk-in-bluebell-woods over the  Bank Holiday weekend!

Thanks to all the late April showers all the growth is very verdant and non more so at the moment than Jack by the Hedge or Hedge Garlic or Garlic Mustard.  A few tiny leaves have turned into hedgerows full of bright green luschious-ness in a very short space of time – it will be in flower in no time.

Picking the bright green leaves while they still look uber-fresh (like they grew yesterday- cos they probably did!) is the best wayto sample it.  The taste is very garlic with a little heat after – great for popping into a picnic sandwich, or bring home for addition to a salad.  I also like to wrap / stuff chicken or pork with it for a zing.

Garlic Mustard

I took my car in for a service this week, the garage I use this little back street guy, tucked away in a unit at the back of a scruffy industrial estate.  My point being that in order to gather wild food, you don’t have to be ‘in the wild’.  On the walk back from the garage I spied lots of big clumps of Garlic Mustard (Jack by the Hedge) , all coming up in a bit of grass where no one goes. I pulled some of these fresh, green spicy-hot leaves and popped them into my salad in a box lunch.  They would go just as well in a ham sandwich!

While you are out and about at the mo, take a look around at all the blossom that is about – plum ‘family’ is one of the earliest to come into flower, make a mental note of where you see it and remember to pop back in the autumn and check for damsoms or sloes.