Chequers - Wild Service Tree
September 2014 - A few weeks ago, I found a Wild Service tree alongside a footpath near my home, fruiting very prolifically.
I returned at the end of the month to collect some of the fruit.
September 2014 - Out on a circular walk not far from my home, I found bullaces in a hedgerow. I decided to try to make Bullace Jelly.
Penny Bun Mushroom - AKA Cep, Porcini
September 2014 - The Penny Bun Mushroom (also known as Cep or Porcini) is possibly the most highly sought wild mushroom - I've picked it many times in the past, but for some reason, haven't written about it here, until now.
Beefsteak Fungus - Revisited
Last time I found Beefsteak Fungus (which was also the first time I found it), I wasn't able to collect it.
On a foraging walk in the New Forest in September 2014, I found a nice young specimen - and this time, I took it home and cooked it.
September 2014 - On a footpath through the middle of a cornfield, I grabbed a random ear of grass from the field margin and noticed that the seeds were quite large - which made me wonder if they could be harvested and eaten.
The grass turned out to be Foxtail Millet.
Three Cornered Leek - Invasion Of The Pickled Onions!
May 2014 - I have the dubious convenience of having an inexhaustible supply of a wild onion species - Three-Cornered Leek - right on my doorstep.
In fact, it's in my garden - it's everywhere in my garden. This beautiful, but invasive plant wants to take over.
October 2013 - After washing some chickweed, I happened to notice the seeds that had collected in the bottom of the bowl - and I began to wonder if it would be possible to collect them and sprout them as a micro-salad.
Well - I didn't intend to wonder for long - so here's the experiment - and as a bonus, a microscopic close-up look at chickweed seeds.
Chickweed Pakora - A Wild Food Recipe
October 2013 - Nearly everything in the vegetable garden has come to an end now... except the weeds.
So to make use of a lush carpet of chickweed that has taken over, here's a recipe for making it into spicy pakora fritters.
Feral Apples - Revisited
September 2013 - I've been out collecting mountains of feral apples to use in the cider press I just made.
These apples are the chance offspring of discarded fruit or thrown apple cores - and they can be quite interesting - let's take a look...
Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar
September 2013 - This is an attempt to make something similar to balsamic vinegar, from blackberries.
August 2013 - Blackberries are in season, and they're very good this year.
I picked some and used them to make blackberry vinegar - it's a simple, delicious and useful way of preserving the lovely aroma and flavour of blackberries for use all year round.
August 2013 - Sorrel is a common plant of grazed or infrequently-mowed fields - I picked some lovely tangy sorrel leaves in a steeply sloping pasture in Somerset - just below Wimbleball Dam.
August 2013 - I've been keeping an eye out for Beefsteak Fungus for quite a long time now - and on a brief camping trip to Somerset, I found an almost perfect specimen.
Bilberry Pie And Bilberry Leaf Tea
August 2013 - Bilberries are good this year - let's take a look at a couple of uses for this plant - Bilberry Tart and Bilberry Leaf Tea.
July 2013 - here's something I've been putting off for a long while - deliberate consumption of insects.
But the time has come! - so I caught, fried and ate grasshoppers.
Garlic Mustard Seeds
July 2013 - I've already given this plant two chances as a wild vegetable - and found it disappointing. Let's have one more go.
But this time, instead of the leaves, I'm going to try eating the ripe seeds.
Lime Flower Cordial
July 2013 - Another summer flower cordial - it's quick and easy to make using Lime flowers.
It can be diluted with still or sparking water to make a delicious summery drink, or can be frozen into ice cubes for flavouring other drinks.
July 2013 - Wild cherry is quite a common woodland tree, but frequently overlooked - let's take a closer look.
June 2013 - This cordial captures the fragrant grape-like flavour of Elderflowers, but is much quicker and easier to make than Elderflower Fizz.
It can be diluted with still or sparking water to make a delicious summery drink, or can be used as a light syrup for fruit salads or cocktails.
Sea Beet Flowers
June 2013 - A walk along the Solent shore - with lots of lovely wild food in evidence.
But let's try something a little bit new - the flowering tips of sea beet.
June 2013 - We took a pleasant evening stroll along footpaths through some local fields and picked some early flowers of Red Clover to make Red Clover Syrup.
May 2013 - Time for Earthnuts - not actually a nut, but they do grow in the earth - and they are somewhat nutty!
This recipe is based on my previous one for Nettle Pudding - these are hearty and delicious vegetarian burgers.
I'm an omnivore, but I found these every bit as enjoyable, filling and satisfying as a meat-based burger.
Garlic Mustard - Another Try
April 2013 - a slow, late spring that started bitterly cold has yielded a lush crop of foliage growth, including roadside hedgerows crammed with Garlic Mustard.
Last time I tried this, I found it inedibly bitter, but as this plant has a long-standing reputation as a vegetable, I thought it was worth another try.
October 2012 - it's a great year for sweet chestnuts - must be all that rain we had instead of a summer.
It's a race against the squirrels for these tasty treats - but this time, I won, and returned home with a couple of pounds of lovely plump chestnuts.
Guelder Rose (Don't Eat This)
October 2012 - Although it looks delicious, here's a berry I won't be eating.
Some of my older wild food references describe Guelder Rose berries as 'edible once cooked', other, more recent sources say it's toxic and best consumed only in small quantities. Actually, I think I'll not bother.
Sea Pea (Don't Eat This)
August 2012 - Whilst on a short camping holday in Dorset, we visited Chesil Beach - one of relatively few locations in the UK where the Sea Pea may be found.
Described as edible by many wild food references, this is actually not one to make a habit of eating.
July 2012 - This summer of rain finally let up, so we headed off to the New Forest for a walk; I picked some Bog Myrtle to make Gale Beer.
Wall Pennywort, also known as Navelwort, is a common plant on coastal cliffs, stone walls and banks, especially in the southwest of England.
September 2011 - I went for a walk along Portchester shore where I sampled the surprising and delightful berries of a common seaside shrub - Sea Buckthorn.
August 2011 - I'm planning to brew my own beer later on this year, so I set out to find some hops to use in it.
August 2011 - This doesn't happen often - although hazel trees are common, and produce nuts in abundance year after year, it always seems like the squirrels, mice, jays and weevils snaffle the crop before humans can get a look in.
August 2011 - All along a broad roadside verge near where I live, Horseradish grows - I've been noticing it for years, intending to forage some.
I finally got around to that - and picked some of the flowers to make fritters.
August 2011 - I went for a sunny, breezy walk atop the chalk downland of Old Winchester Hill.
Wild Marjoram is abundant in this habitat - and it's a useful kitchen herb, so I picked some to take home for drying.
August 2011 - this is urban foraging, rather than true wild food, but it's still a great free food resource - Mulberries. Find some of these, and you're in for a real treat.
July 2011 - Taking a walk along the sea front at Hill Head on a warm summer evening, I found wild radishes growing on the shingle banks.
May 2011 - Wild roses are in full and copious bloom. Let's see what we can do with rose petals.
May 2011 - I found some hops growing wild in a hedgerow. It's a little early to be looking to harvest the fragrant flowers, but in spring, the tender shoots are available to pick as a green vegetable.
Mini Dandelions - Sprouting Dandelion Seeds As A Micro-Salad
April 2011 - I have been collecting dandelion seeds for an experimental oil extraction project, but wondered if the seeds could be sprouted like mustard and cress, for an unusual micro-salad.
April 2011 - I spent the day with friends at Lulworth Cove and got my boat tangled up in some floating Thongweed - it seemed like a good opportunity to snag some for experimental use in the kitchen.
April 2011 - I spent a week in Murcia, Spain - one of the very many things I love about this place is the fact that plants known normally to me as cultivated herbs in the garden can be found just growing wild. A while ago, I wrote about Rosemary - now, it's Thyme (no pun intended).
April 2011 - we're in Minehead, Somerset, and there is a great abundance of a wild food I've often seen, but the time or season hasn't been right to give it a try, but this time, it's fresh and available - it's Alexanders
Elsewhere in my wild food adventures, I've used the seeds of Cleavers (also known as Goosegrass) in an attempt to make coffee substitute. Now, in the early spring of 2011, I'm looking to the emerging shoots of the cleavers plant as a fresh green vegetable.
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