Why A Forager Still Needs A Mentor

Yesterday marked my seventh (or was it my eighth?) led forage with Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. I’ve blogged before about Mark’s amazing foraging skills here.

Mark has taught me almost everything I know about foraging. He inspired me so much I decided to start foraging walks of my own (check them out here). Even though I feel confident to lead my own walks for beginners and even though I hold membership to the Association of Foragers, I still very much class myself as a beginner when it comes to foraging. Here’s why…

When I book on to Mark’s courses I always, ALWAYS, learn something new. A new plant, a new way of processing/cooking/combining a particular plant I’m already familiar with, or a new snippet of information that takes my own foraging to the next level.

Bottom line: even when you think you know everything there is to know about a particular plant or what to do with it, you don’t. 🙂 

As I continue to learn more about this time-honoured art and practice, I am continually awed and humbled by how much there is to learn, and if we’re to deepen this knowledge in order to pass it on to our children (as is my intention), then it’s absolutely critical not just to immerse ourselves in the practice of actually getting out there to forage, but also continuing to be taught by those who are more knowledgeable than we are.

That’s why I continue to sign up for Mark’s courses. Not just because he’s an AMAZING wild food chef and wild cocktail bartender (although, those are definitely his plus points), but because it really solidifies and deepens my own knowledge every single time.

Yesterday was such a fun-filled foraging day in Mark’s own backyard (Gatehouse of Fleet) and I learned way more than I anticipated. Plus, because I don’t get out much these days (hello, motherhood) I was ever so slightly tipsy from Mark’s inspired wild cocktails in the woods. What? It’s medicinal! 😉

 

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Picking Garlic Mustard

Another one of my absolute FAVOURITE wild greens is Garlic Mustard. It tastes just like pineapple! Kidding. It tastes garlicky and mustardy. Not as garlicky as wild garlic. I’d say it’s more mustardy. It’s easy to identify although I did used to get it mixed up with Lesser Celandine which has a similar U shape but Garlic Mustard isn’t as shiny and certainly bigger.

I made another vid, because I’m obsessed with vids these days 🙂

Flower Power – Coltsfoot

I’ve discovered there are patches of the beautiful Coltsfoot flower growing in the back woodland. I’m such a huge fan of eating flowers, they add such a magical element to meals. Just one or two are all that are needed – leave the rest for the bees and insects 🙂

Coltsfoot flowers have the most wonderful flavour, distinctly aromatic but not overpowering. Just beautiful. Definitely one to try. Continue reading

Wild Stir-Fry

Like I’ve said a bijillion times before, you don’t have to be a whizz in the kitchen to incorporate wild food in to your meals. All the wonderful spring greens I picked yesterday in less than twenty minutes and only a few hundred yards from the house were easily incorporated in to our dinner.

The husband made a quick stir-fry and simply chucked the wild greens through it at the end. No need to cook. In fact, cooking them would really destroy much of the flavour and nutrition to be found in wild greens.

I say you don’t have to be a whizz, granted this photo looks like something out of a Michelin restaurant guide because my husband is a big show off 🙂

Take home point: keep it simple… and be in awe of my husband’s amazingness 🙂

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