The Wild Forager is a blog dedicated to finding and eating the four free foods which you are allowed to harvest from nature; namely fungi (mushrooms and similar), flowers, fruit and foliage. Wild mushrooms such as Ceps (aka "porcino" or "penny bun"), Chanterelles, Oyster mushrooms, St Georges mushrooms, and Common field mushrooms to name but a few are quite easy to find in the uk. Edible plants, flowers and foliage such as dandelions, nettles, elderflower and wild garlic (which makes an excellent addition to both salads and cooked dishes) are even easier to find in the right season and to let them go to waste seems a shame. Why we don't all pick wild fruit such as apples and wild plums / damsons in the wild is beyond me. Even blackberry picking seems to be becoming a thing of the past!
It's time we rediscovered out roots and enjoyed the treasure trail of food made freely available to us through nature. Join me as I catalog my finds whilst I ramble (and munch) through the wonderous foraging delights that nature's larder has to offer. Everytime I find something in the wild that I want to eat, I'll post a picture, give an indication of where I found it, and tell you how I cooked it (most likely sauted in a little butter in the case of mushrooms).
You can't get far on your foraging voyage without needing a good resource for identifying your free food. Here are my picks of the bunch from those that know far more than I!
Mushrooms (River Cottage Handbook No.1) - John Wright
This fantastic book goes with me on ever single mushroom forage (much more informative than the accompanying "Mushroom Magic" dvd). For each mushroom it indicates when you are likely to find them, where, how good they are to eat, and points out any similar posionous species to look out for.Buy it on Amazon
Mushrooms - Roger Phillips
More photos of more mushrooms than I've seen in any other book. It's not usually prudent to go off looks alone but used alongside another book or two, it can help to solidfy your hopes (or fears!)Buy it on Amazon
Food for free - Richard Mabey
The first book I ever read on foraging was this one by Richard Mabey. It goes with me on most walks and if it doesn't then it's little brother (the little gem) definately doesBuy it on Amazon
Food for free (little gem) - Richard Mabey
There's less in this book than there is in the original but then it is smaller. That said, most of the common things are in here and given it's size and price, it is certainly noteworthyBuy it on Amazon
Hedgerow - River Cottage
Three hours jam packed with insightful commentry from John Wright (with the occasional interuption from Hugh). Includes some simple recipes. An absolute gem!Buy it on Amazon
Mushroom Magic - River Cottage
At about 60 minutes, this dvd is fun and worth a watch (especially if you're a River Cottage buff or John Wright fan) but it doesn't go into anywhere near as much depth as I would like (for that you'll want to get the book). Still it's a pleasant watch. One thing I noticed is the suggestion you might give mushrooms a sniff to decide what they are; given that the spores of the Death Cap are deadly I don't think I'd want to sniff it...Buy it on Amazon