In: food. Also: health.
Foraging is the act of gathering food from nature.
Blackberry / bramble
Blackberry is one of the most common wild edibles, really appreciated by foragers. Berries are picked in late summer to early autumn and are used to make jams, tarts and pies. The leaves of bramble also make an excellent tea.
Dandelion is one of the most common plants you can find in the wild and it’s really easy to identify. All parts of the plant are edible and it’s very nutritious
Dandelions are rooted into Mediterranean tradition and are still used in rural areas, where young leaves, sometimes referred as dandelion greens, are added to salads or used as a vegetable for stir-fries and pie fillings such as hortopita. Nowadays, some people throw them into smoothies for a nutrition boost.
Flower petals are edible as well and can be added to salads, pancakes, omelettes and risottos. Syrup made of the flowers is dubbed “dandelion honey” and tastes divine.
Roots are not as popular as they used to be a few decades ago, when they were broadly used to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute after roasting and grinding the plump roots.
Dog rose / wild rose
The rose hip or rosehip, also called rose haw and rose hep, is the accessory fruit of the various species of rose plant
Rosehips are conveniently packed with vitamin C, containing much more than you find in oranges and blackcurrants. During II World War due to a shortage of citrus fruits, the British government encouraged the picking of rosehips to make nutritive syrup issued as a dietary supplement.
Elderflower / elderberry
Elder is a one of the most common wild edibles, really appreciated by foragers. Elderflowers are picked in early summer to infuse their aroma in refreshing drinks.
Berries are picked in late summer to early autumn and are used to make jams, tarts and pies.
A very common weed that is very easy to identify, Stinging Nettle is in fact a nutritive superfood with valuable medicinal properties. One of the most abundant greens to forage in Spring.
Leaves are edible, preferably young. It has a particular flavour which is a bit neutral. They are used as a vegetable leaf in many recipes as a substitute of spinach in omelettes, risottos, curries, quiches and tarts.
Red clover / purple clover / trefoil
Red Clover is a native plant belonging to the same family as peas and beans. This common edible plant has long been used for its medicinal properties, treating health conditions such as cough, skin complaints and menopausal symptoms.
Wild garlic spends most of the year buried underground as a bulb, only to emerge in early Spring. The leaves smell and taste of garlic and are quite versatile in the kitchen.
All parts are edible and taste of Garlic, but it is the leaves of the plant that are mainly collected. Although the smell is very pungent, the flavour of wild garlic is not as powerful as the conventional Garlic.
You can use it in omelettes, soups, stir fries and a sort of pesto sauce, which is very popular amongst foragers. The leaves can be preserved by lacto fermentation and the flower buds can be pickled like capers.
Wild Garlic is an ancient woodland indicator plant.
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Forage sustainably and responsibly, and make sure you stay safe and within the law
The Database to find a forager near you!
https://thenakedforager.com – Ireland
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If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there’s a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.
Food Mary, Wild food in Ireland
Ireland Co Offaly & Co Laois
Children of the Old Oak Tree Ireland
Parent/child meet ups, forest school camps & after school sessions. Durrow Co. Laois.