March foraging 

a brief introduction

Spring!   A time of much joy and gladness. We have made it through the winter and can now feel the sap rising in all living beings. It is a time to nourish and replenish ourselves, shake of our old winter coat and treat our new skin with love and tenderness.

Some of the wild herbs that are out now are Dandelion roots and leaves, nettles, sorrel, common chickweed, crow garlic, fennel, pig nuts, wild garlic, primrose flowers and leaves are all some of my favourite spring tonics that will help to deeply strengthen & revitalise your body and spirit.

Dandelion roots and leaves

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Are a wonderful cleanser and digestive aid. They are a perfect spring ally. The roots are full of energy as they prime themselves to produce their wonderful big smily, juicy, golden flowers. Dig up the roots and use them in a stir fry.  Roast and grind them into a tasty and healthy coffee substitute.  Like all bitter herbs Dandelion root before meal times will activate your digestive system into work and help your body to produce much needed enzymes.

Nettles

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All those who know me, know how much I adore Nettles.  A real strengthener to your whole system and wonderful for an over stretched and under nourished body and spirit. We are lucky enough to live in a country that is full to bursting with Nettles. Many times I have heard the elders say that what is abundant and around us is natures way of telling us we need it. Full of protein and iron, better and more potent than super greens from somewhere exotic, and right on our doorstep. If we want to get closer to the land we live in I think it’s important to take the medicine that is growing locally.  It is the quickest way to become part of our landscape again.  The simplest way to take nettle is to gather a good two or three handfuls and put them into a 2 pint jar with a lid. Fill with hot water and let sit over night. Drink throughout the next day. You can add mint if you want to lift Nettles earthy flavour.  If you want to remain unstung while picking feel free to use gloves, but even the sting itself is very beneficial to health so personally I don’t want to deny myself this side benefit and in fact I have grown to love the post gather tingle.

Sorrel

Ahhh Sorrel what a wild beauty you are! Scattered across the lawns and pathways and on the edges of woods and hedgerows. Sorrel has a strong lemony/apple skin flavour and is a beautiful accompaniment to a salad or pesto. it works well alongside fish or made into the traditional Polish dish of sorrel soup.

Chickweed

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Full of calcium and great for the skin. Make into a bone building vinegar to add to salad dressings or a salve to help skin irritations. Chickweed is an abundant friend and a welcome addition to my salads, pestos, green dressings, juices and wilted greens.

Crow garlic

Looks just like chives only bigger and slightly greyer. It tastes more mellow than chives and is growing abundantly right now.

Fennel

So sweet and good. Made into a tea to aid digestion and freshen breath or added to your nettle infusion to give it bounce.  Add to a sorrel pesto to be slathered onto freshly grilled fish or as a feathery companion in spring salads.

Wild garlic

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Oooooh how I love it when the forest smells of wild garlic, when the hem of my skirt, breath and fingers all smell of green garlic leaves. I absolutely love it!  My blood feels alive and my body stronger with the addition of wild garlic in my life.  Added to nettle pesto it makes a jar of green heaven.  Added to boiled potatoes, rice, risotto, “Green Goddess” dressing, salads, and so much more. Wild garlic doesn’t work well being cooked so I would recommend adding it to hot things at the end of cooking. Go into the forest and pick a big bunch, I promise you will feel so healthy after eating it.

Primrose flowers

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Such a delicate beauty to add onto any food. I love putting them on top of raw cakes, wild salads or even as an exciting addition to sandwiches.

Navelwort

 

The best little green thing to add to a cheese sandwich ever! These don’t taste of much but the texture is firm and seaweed like. Beautiful green disks that spring from old stone walls. Children love it for is curious beauty.  I also add it to my green juices as a little cooling flavour. Its a plant that you can’t mistake for anything else.

Get out there and enliven your spirit and feed your body for your sake and for those you love. Connect to the land and breath fresh air and then ask again…”How does this feel?”

Wild blessings xxx

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