Foraging is Discovery
We are all foragers at heart. Every time we visit the supermarket we are picking through the shelves, ever on the lookout for what’s fresh and appealing. It’s just as if we are reaching into the hedgerows, just like our ancient ancestors did, for the shiny fresh berries glittering in the afternoon sun. Indeed, our supermarket forays are merely these ancient instincts playing themselves out in our modern, convenience orientated world.
Real foraging, however, isn’t about convenience – in fact it is probably the very antithesis of it – but I think that’s a good thing. Who would describe going to the supermarket as a hobby? Yet how could you describe rock-climbing, hedge-crawling, and woodland-rummaging for your dinner as anything but? Indeed, since the very existence of supermarkets negates the necessity to forage, then one has only to indulge in the activity as a leisure pursuit – and the pursuit is one of discovery (check out the slide show below).
This blog is about persuading you to find the time, and helping you to find the confidence, to put some of those primal instincts back to the use for which they evolved. As I go out and hunt for berries, leaves, nuts, mushrooms, seaweeds and molluscs, I will provide photographs of what I find to aid your own identification of these treasures. These will be accompanied by (hopefully) enjoyable anecdotes of my adventures, and the recipe I used to cook what I gather… the rest will be up to you.
Good luck! I hope you find the world of foraging as inspiring and as liberating as I have, and that all your wild dinners are a delight and a success. And please, reply to my posts and let me know how you get on.
J. P. Waldron, November 2011