Foraging Fun with The Family Foraging Kitchen at Maker 4th July 2015

Foraging! We've all heard about it being done throughout the ages since 
our caveman ancestors. 

But what is it really all about?! And what amazing edible treats could be just waiting along your everyday walk to tickle your tastebuds?

Well this week we got to find out as we booked a morning foraging session with the lovely 
Vix from our friends at The Family Foraging Kitchen at Maker Heights.

Please note: Vix is an Experienced Professional Forager, and therefore we would strongly recommend that you if you wish to forage you do so with an experienced professional as there are some extremely ponisous plants that can be easily misidentified to the untrained eye! 

Firstly before anything else, we had to induct Vix into the Team with the PEA standard morning Tea break...

Which gave Chris just enough time to show off our new library of pocket sized ID books, always extremely handy!

Once fuelled up with tea and biscuits everyone was raring to get going! 

Here are a few of some of the first plants we learnt about:

 Common Hogweed. 

 Belonging to the carrot family, it is identified by it's
 Hairy rigged stems.

The flowers can be eaten as a supplement to cauliflower.

While the seeds meanwhile have a sweet citrus note.

Yarrow-Identified by it's miniature fern like stalks and 20-25 yellow to white (or pink) flowers

Crushed down it can be used as a poultice for wounds, 
whilst as drunk as tea it can be used to bring down a fever.

The seeds can also be used as a seasoning!

Ribwort Plantain-Identified by it's ribbed leaves and iconic seed heads amongst grass.

One of the oldest plants in the world!

The leaves rubbed down into a ball on the heel of your hand creates
 a green juice that can be used to ease any number of ailments 
from sunburn to nettle stings!

As well as learning about plants, we were also gathering supplies for a foraged lunch in the form of of a Hedgerow Tagine, prepared with ingredients picked fresh along our foraging ramble.

This included Ox-eye Daisy leaves...Just trust us! They taste great - like a mixture of rocket and pineapple!

Everyone has a taste!

Alexanders seeds can be used as a spice, much like black pepper!

Vix was a really enthusiastic host!

So enthusiastic that she even roused Laura from a late morning lie-in
to come join in! 

 Pink Campion-The bladders at the back of the flowers 
contain a delicious sugary nectar. Talk about your all natural sweets! 

Honeysuckle - another sweet treat! 

Elder flowers - great for cordials and wine! Or even as a Pakora (Indian fried snack)!

Lesser or Field bindweed - small light pink trumpet shaped flowers and shield shaped leaves. Leaves are delicious as an alternative to spinach!

Silverweed for snacking on! Great as a green leaf vegetable substitute.

Along the way we found loads of amazing creatures-including this friendly spider!

Hedge Bindweed

Pennywort or Navalwort - a nice juicy alternative to cucumber for salads, or as an alternative to beansprouts in a stir-fry!

The heart-shaped leaf of the Dog-Violet is also a tasty salad leaf!

You may have heard that Stinging Nettles are edible if cooked up in a soup! Well if carefully folded up, they can even be eaten raw...

Can't they Esther?

Soon we reached the cooking spot, and as Vix was setting up...

We caught up on what we'd learn so far...

Whilst admiring the beauty view of Cawsands..

Here's the basket of our foraged goodies for our Tagine...

Jule's jamming on the pestle and mortar...

The bulk of the tajen was made up of peppers and onions provided by Vix...

Who had also baked this delcious hedgerow bread made from Curlydock seeds,
 Elderflower and Wild Fennel...

Once the veg was nice and soften up it was in with our freshly picked foliage...

As well as a splash of spices to give it an traditional African flavour....

Leave it on a low heat to bubble away for 10 minutes...

And Voila!!

Finally to finish it off add a generous glug of honey!

Stir it in...

And serve it up! 

I think it's easy to see it went down a treat!

Group photo time!!!

All too soon it was time to say goodbye to our great host Vix!

We all had a fantastic day with her and highly recommend you check our their Facebook page if you're interested in learning even more about all things foraging!

Other pages to check out about FORAGING:

What do YOU think we should try out next?
Let us know by commenting on our Facebook page, Twitter or by email

Mike-PEA Team

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