Friday, 31 May 2013

Go wild in the country

Foraging at Stirley Farm

I had a really interesting day today at Stirley Farm with many of the Growing Newsome gang on a training session entitled 'Discovering Wild Food'. The course was run by Chris Bax and Caco of 'Taste the Wild' who run wild food and foraging courses. The idea of foraging is not to replace your weekly shop by scavenging around the countryside but to increase peopes awareness and connections with the local  environment around you by having knowledge of food that you can use in cooking that could be growing on a verge in a hedgerow or a local field. Chris was clear that the rise in interest in local food has been fuelled by the television programmes of Hugh Fearley Wittingsall and Ray Mears. There were a good dozen or so folks, mainly from Newsome, on the course and everyone seemed to enjoy learning about wild food on a sunny day around Stirley. The use of nettles, rosebay willow herb and sorrell were all explained and I'm looking forward to feeding it to the kids! Here's some pics from the day.

The spear thistle - unexpectedly tasty

Once stripped the Spear thistle is quite like celery and goes well in a stir fry
Chris with a pig nut. Not a nut but a tuber  
Sweet Cicely not to be confused with cows parsley - leaves taste of aniseed and goes well with fish         

Jelly ear or Judas Ear an edible fungus that only grows on elder trees

A wild food stir fry - yum!

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