There really is something immensely satisfying about foraging, finding your own wild food and what better way to eat organic seasonal food than to get it from where it grows naturally.
Growing up in Norfolk, I was always picking plums to eat on my way home from school and in the Summer holidays, blackberries to take home for my mum to make in to a crumble, and fresh peas from the farmers field (that technically might class as stealing rather than foraging, probably best not to do that) to snack on straight from the pod.
Another favourite past time was going strawberry picking, granted it’s not really foraging as you had to pay per punnet but you’d always manage to eat about as many as you picked along the way and then even after my mum had made jam, we still ate strawberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days.
Living in London, it’s still amazing what you can find. Parks, wooded areas and riverside walkways are all great for foraging.
I went out to my local park this week with the dogs and stumbled across a patch of fresh mint, I picked a few sprigs and used them in a pea & mint soup, a zesty summer garden veg pasta dish and fennel, broad bean, courgette & mint risotto.
Tips for foraging
- Always try a little of your find first, just to make sure it agrees with you.
- Only pick what you need, wild food is a source of food for wild life, birds and insects, you don’t want them going hungry.
- Keep in mind that dogs do pee up against trees and bushes, pick from up high and always wash your finds thoroughly.
- Be careful with mushrooms, a lot of the edible ones look almost identical to the poisonous ones.
- Take a guide book to help you identify what you’re collecting.