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Author Topic: Free and Wild Food  (Read 31973 times)

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stompy

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Free and Wild Food
« on: July 22, 2011, 10:57 »
I have the Wild Food Yearbook, it's fab and it tells you how to identify and find all the different things in a month by month guide.

Sloes are from the blackthorn bush, they are around the size of a pea and are very dark purple almost black.
The bushes that they grow on are spikey like hawthorn bushes but the foliage is much darker and the leaves are smaller almost almond shaped.

You usually find them growing down public footpaths, dissused railway tracks and small country roads.



This post was moved from another thread and merged in here as a great example of what to post. :) It is not in correct thread order as it was posted prior to the existence of this thread. Argyllie.
Sloes.jpg
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 13:14 by argyllie »


arugula

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Free and Wild Food
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 11:03 »
Per a suggestion made for a board or sticky thread on "free food/gathering wild food, how to recognise it, suggestions, where to look and what to avoid", here it is. :)
"They say a snow year's a good year" -- Rutherford.

Kleftiwallah

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 11:09 »

'ere Stompy',   leave those sloes alone untill they are about the size of a grape (hopefully a big grape) and they have had a frost on them.   :ohmy:  Cheers,   Tony.
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stompy

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 11:12 »
Have you seen the size of my peas  ;)  :lol:

I've only picked them once and they were that big in October.

Might of been a bad year, i don't rate them personally
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 11:13 by stompy »

kegs

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Re: Suggestion
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 13:47 »
Here is a google image of sloes and the bush you will find them on.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&biw=1004&bih=575&q=sloes&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=1766l2625l0l7750l5l5l0l0l0l0l391l1797l3-5l5&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

Local tradition says to pick them after the first frost!

sion01

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 15:21 »
If you wait until the sloes are a really dark blue almost black you can make sloe gin or substitute whisky for the gin and it's still really good stuff.You can also make jam with them if youv'e got the patiance to pick all the stone's out before potting it.
You can also collect dandelion flowers about this time of year to make a great country wine and all that chickweed you weed from the plot is great in salad as is the cornsalad.

You can also collect elder flowers for champagnea ,fat hen for salads and fennel oh yes hairy bittercress(my favourite) not bitter at all and as nice and succulent as any lettuce you can grow.Then theres wild garlic,rowan flowers,yarrow and wild marjoram.If you find a patch of feral borage the young leaves and flowers are great in a salad as is wood sorrel but only a couple of them because they containe oxalic acid (like rhubarb leaves) which is a great chemical for giving you a kidney stone.

Their all available in July ( around here anyway) but even though I'm a keen collector of wild and feral plants I do stear clear of all the carrot family although wild carrot and wild parsnip are edible the carrot family contains some of the most deadly plants too.Hemlock,hemlock water-dropwort and quite a few others so I stay clear of anything that just might be one of them.So if you cant be 100% stay clear ,be safe.

arugula

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 15:35 »
So who's going to tell me about samphire? Is it around very flat shoreline you need to look for it? Does it grow all around the UK shores? Or is it worth trying to grow?

Ice

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 16:53 »
I love the idea of this thread but I think it ought to be split up into what is available month by month.  Of course that will vary according to location, but would make it clearer than lots of suggestions that are either too late or too early.

Just a thought.  :)

mumofstig

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 17:00 »
we have samphire hoe down here
http://www.samphirehoe.com/plants.asp
which they made from the earth extracted when they dug the Channel Tunnel, at least it made something worthwhile rather than just leaving the waste  in a heap somewhere :)

Samphire itself just tastes like crunchy/crispy greens with it's own saltiness, already inside  :D   It's not nasty, neither do I think it's anything special  :unsure: It grows on salt mudflats near Whitstable, on the North Kent coast
Pick June - September
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 17:12 by mumofstig »
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Kleftiwallah

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 17:09 »

There definitely needs to be some sort of month by month order for what there is 'to hand'.  Cheers,   Tony.

arugula

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 17:18 »
we have samphire hoe down here
http://www.samphirehoe.com/plants.asp
which they made from the earth extracted when they dug the Channel Tunnel, at least it made something worthwhile rather than just leaving the waste  in a heap somewhere :)

Samphire itself just tastes like crunchy/crispy greens with it's own saltiness, already inside  :D   It's not nasty, neither do I think it's anything special  :unsure: It grows on salt mudflats near Whitstable, on the North Kent coast
Pick June - September

That's handy thanks! I quite like it, just wondered whereabouts people pick it, or is it a big secret.....

:D

tosca100

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 17:49 »
We have samphire around here as we are close to the Dee estuary, but I have to admit I wait for someone else to collect it and then buy it in our local Farm Shop, loose. I love it, the texture and the salty bite. If it froze well I would make an effort to go and collect my own, but then I expect everyone would. As it is, it's a hike and a half over dodgy ground hence letting someone else do it!  Not worth it as you need to use it quickly for best results. Some people like it pickled, I would rather have it in season. In Asda you can buy little packets from Egypt!!!!! :ohmy:


Any where that there are tidal mud flats will probably have samphire and a lot of other tasty sea vegetables, but as with mushrooms, you have to know what to pick.

sion01

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 18:35 »
In an earlier post I mentioned wild carrot and parsnip (available now if your'e brave enough to pick them out of the other nastys that can look like them) but there's the issue with these of actually digging up a wild plant which is a criminal offence so don't do it.
The same could be said about wild garlic as only the bulb itself is any good at this time of year as the leaves are a bit bitter by now.I'm lucky enough to have a friend with a small wood that is covered with wild garlic which is so thick in some parts that I'm allowed to thin them from now until my own garlic is ready in a couple of weeks.

So if you don't have the landowners permission actually digging them up is a no no(also try to pick you're booty where dogs can't get access or is above large dog wizzing hight) :D

arugula

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 18:41 »
I have planted wild garlic in my garden. ;)

sion01

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Re: Free and Wild Food
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 18:56 »
The bulbs nice but I love the leaves in early spring and I make a blinding nettle and wild garlic soup (even though I do say so myself).I get a great feeling useing stuff that some think are weeds.

I made the soup the first time while the wife and kids were out and told them when they came home that it was a spinach and garlic soup.They loved it with some homemade bread but their jaws dropped when I told them what it was.It just shows what preconceptions we have.The only down side is that every time I cook something they ask 'what is it really Dad'



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