You don’t take sandwiches when you walk in the Forest of Dean with a good food forager. You harvest your lunch. You graze your way through tangy sheep sorrel, fresh mints, crunchy hogweed and burdock leaf stalks, and snappy bistort leaves. We carefully stuffed nettles leaves into carriers for later soups. Sneaking wild strawberries from the grassy banks and purple elderberries from high hedgerows decided the recipes for puddings to come. The ground beneath our feet was revealed as a continuous carpet of lunch. We learned that locality, season, and ecology make for different treats at different times of year. The Forager guide was amazing. He knew just where to take us, what was safe to eat and how to identify it. He was full of anecdotes and folk wisdom. But best of all he knew that most plants were edible but that only some were worth the bother, and showed us which were which. We even came home with recipes.
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