The A to Z of Foraging

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From The Ecologist:

Fed up of paying a premium for supermarket berries and herbs? Take a walk on the wild side and pick your own

Foraging – a word that evokes images of wild boars scouring for truffles and dawn raids on your local woodland’s wild mushroom supply – is set to become a major food trend in 2012, according to a recent study by food and drink tasting company My Secret Kitchen. Fresh, wild food is an attractive option for those strapped for cash or who simply want to avoid supermarket produce and eat more naturally. ‘During the recession, more people have been buying British produce and cooking homemade dishes so the natural next step was foraging,’ says Phil Moran of My Secret Kitchen. ‘It’s all about people wanting to go back to their roots and to feel more in control psychologically.’

Fortunately though, raiding Mother Nature’s buffet of goodies doesn’t require burying your face into the forest floor wild-hog-style. With plenty of organised courses and books now on offer, it’s easy to get to grips with this back-to-basics activity, which can slash your food miles and do away with plastic packaging all in one go. Here’s our A-Z guide to get you started:

A is for apples
Wild apple trees grow in uncultivated ground and are often the remains of abandoned orchards, or the result of animals or birds eating the seeds and then depositing them onto other land through their droppings. Start your search in late summer, when most apple varieties ripen. Windfalls are the easiest to get hold of but watch out for bugs that might have got there ahead of you.

B is for bramble
A traditional countryside pastime, ‘brambling’ or picking for blackberries can be done between the end of July and the start of November in the UK. The berries are renowned for their high levels of vitamins and are considered to be a superfood by nutritionists…

[Read C-Z at The Ecologist]

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  • Anarchy Pony

    Ew, never eat an apple off the ground. If it’s been there for more than 10 minutes, you can bet something has gotten in there.

    • Calypso_1

      Dude, are you kidding?  Extra protein and fats with no extra work!

      • Anarchy Pony

        Fats? What kinda bugs are you eating? I draw the line after grasshoppers.

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  • Jesus Borg

    I eat pigweed, chickweed, wood sorrel, dandelion greens in my salad everyday lately. These are all considered weeds and are high in nutrients. They are available all late spring and summer basically.

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