Suggestions - Whats good to forage now?

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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
8,493
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Exeter
Looking to carry on with my current run of foraging and cooking ( hoping its well received ) - so what else is out and about now that I can use?

Suggestions wanted please.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
37,013
2,872
S. Lanarkshire
Lesser celandines and pignuts are profuse around here just now.
The celandines are a pest in my herb bed, they become over abundant. Beware bringing them into the garden as foraging food :rolleyes:
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,606
4,980
Mid Wales
Lesser celandines and pignuts are profuse around here just now.
The celandines are a pest in my herb bed, they become over abundant. Beware bringing them into the garden as foraging food :rolleyes:

Ah, but they are a ray of sunshine in early spring :)
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
37,013
2,872
S. Lanarkshire
....and the woodpigeons love them. They pull the leafy stems and they adore the seeds when they form too.
If you want to catch wood pigeons (good in a pie) then plant ye lesser celandines !

:D

M
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,606
4,980
Mid Wales
Around here at the moment, some you've already used:

Dandelion of course
Stinging Nettle - Urtica dioica
Primrose - Primula vulgaris - in abundance
Reed Mace/Cat tails - Typha latifolia - some early shoots but the rhizomes are always available
Common Sorrel - Rumex acetosa - but only small leaves for now
Cow Parsley - Anthriscus sylvestris - again, only the lower rosettes - if you are not confident of your carrot family leave well alone
Pignut - Conopodium majus - not much leaf yet so difficult to find the tubers
Wood Sorrel - Oxalis acetosella
Ground Elder - Aegopodium podagraria
Hogweed - Heracleum sphondylium - some early shoots but not much yet
Gorse - Ulex europaeus

Wood/Jelly/Judas Ear - Auricularia auricula-judae
Scarlet Elf-Cup - Sarcoscypha austriaca - but not enough to consider foraging; it's too pretty

Garden snail - Cornu aspersum (yes, they are edible!)
Grey Squirrel
Rabbit

Not legal, but if you were desperate, from now on is the time to find pheasant and mallard eggs (actually, mallard from February)
 
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slowworm

Full Member
May 8, 2008
1,383
383
Devon
I've often wondered about bramble leaves, I gather they are used in tea but I thought young shoots were edible. I note PFAF says the young shoots emerging from the ground can be eaten. Anyone tried them?

 

bobnewboy

Native
Jul 2, 2014
1,123
627
North West Somerset
Dunno about blackberry leaves, but on last year’s experience the fruits have little or no flavour round here (Somerset/Devon border), compared to those I’ve picked and eaten in Surrey. We have even gone as far as planting a commercial blackberry bush in our fruit cage to get some fruit with the right flavour.
I might try drying some black- and red-currant leaves later this year to make tea. I have heard it’s good. Plus there’s a huge lime tree in the village, so I might try that for some flowers when they come.

At present though we’ve a little patch of ramsons, and thousands of celandines (flowering) and lords-and-ladies coming up. Not much even on the beech tree yet....
 

slowworm

Full Member
May 8, 2008
1,383
383
Devon
Dunno about blackberry leaves, but on last year’s experience the fruits have little or no flavour round here (Somerset/Devon border), compared to those I’ve picked and eaten in Surrey.

Did you try any the year before? Blackberries, wild and cultivated. were terrible down here in Devon last year. They've been much better in previous years. I don't think they liked the warm early summer and wet and dingy late summer.
 

Thoth

Nomad
Aug 5, 2008
336
27
Hertford, Hertfordshire
I made a vat of soup from nettle-tops & a few ramson leaves last week (also using a carrot, a potato, an onion) and a lot of pesto from ramsons and walnuts today. Only the ramsons were foraged, the walnuts were a gift from a Ukrainian neighbour; he gave me a couple of kilos of shelled nuts he bought at a market on a trip home a few months ago. It took me ages to grind up the ramsons by hand with a pessle and mortar as we don't own a food processor, worth it though; it tastes great!
 
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bobnewboy

Native
Jul 2, 2014
1,123
627
North West Somerset
Did you try any the year before? Blackberries, wild and cultivated. were terrible down here in Devon last year. They've been much better in previous years. I don't think they liked the warm early summer and wet and dingy late summer.

No, I'm afraid not. We moved down to Somerset in August 2018, so too late (and too busy! :) ) to forage anything at all. If it is just a matter of the weather causing the blandness, then hopefully we will be covered for this year, as there were loads around last year. Plus of course, our new plant may give us a small crop, fingers crossed.

Cheers, Bob
 

Dark Horse Dave

Full Member
Apr 5, 2007
1,724
61
Surrey / South West London
Dunno about blackberry leaves, but on last year’s experience the fruits have little or no flavour round here (Somerset/Devon border), compared to those I’ve picked and eaten in Surrey. We have even gone as far as planting a commercial blackberry bush in our fruit cage to get some fruit with the right flavour.
I might try drying some black- and red-currant leaves later this year to make tea. I have heard it’s good. Plus there’s a huge lime tree in the village, so I might try that for some flowers when they come.

At present though we’ve a little patch of ramsons, and thousands of celandines (flowering) and lords-and-ladies coming up. Not much even on the beech tree yet....
On the tasteless blackberries, I wonder if that was anything to do with how they were oriented in relation to the sun? There's an expression south is sweet or something like that. Just a thought.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
1,145
1,001
yorks
I fried up a few Amethyst deceiver mushrooms. Lovely, they were very reminiscent of velvet shanks.

Hazelnuts, crab apples and sloes last Saturday.
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
231
198
Suffolk
I never have much luck with hazelnuts. It always amazes me that the squirrels seem to know exactly which ones are empty and they tend to be the only ones left. What are your plans with the sloes out of interest?
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
231
198
Suffolk
I just read Broch's post further up the thread, mentioning garden snails. I've often been curious about snails, having eaten many in France (delicious with garlic butter), but have never foraged them. Anyone have much experience with snails? And dare I say it... Isn't a slug a snail without a shell...?
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
1,145
1,001
yorks
I never have much luck with hazelnuts. It always amazes me that the squirrels seem to know exactly which ones are empty and they tend to be the only ones left. What are your plans with the sloes out of interest?

Sloe gin, pretty standard I know. Never really thought about what else could be done with em, maybe some kind of hoisin sauce?

If I can get more hazelnuts, I'll do a hazelnut liqueur of some sort.
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
8,493
2,112
47
Exeter
I just read Broch's post further up the thread, mentioning garden snails. I've often been curious about snails, having eaten many in France (delicious with garlic butter), but have never foraged them. Anyone have much experience with snails? And dare I say it... Isn't a slug a snail without a shell...?

I'm game if you are..
 
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Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
231
198
Suffolk
Ha ha I'm anything but game :)

I've only ever tried sloe gin. But I've read that once you empty the bottle they make a good desert with chocolate melted over the top. I plan to make a sloe / rosehip jelly, with a few blackberries too perhaps.
 

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