Today we went foraging with our local home ed group. I’ve never been foraging before, apart from for blackberries as a kid but they always just sat on the side in a bowl once I got them home anyway. In Wales there are plenty of wide open green public spaces to go tromping about and there are lots of signposted walking trails too. The plants we were foraging for today are hardy and grow anywhere; you can go foraging anywhere there is a bit of greenery.
I’ve heard of foraging as it seems to be becoming a popular thing to do but it never really took my fancy. This activity was kindly planned and facilitated for free by one of the families who are in the home ed group so it was a great opportunity to learn something new. The kids got to playing straight away and we got loads of fresh air.
We walked a route that was right behind where we used to live. It’s a housing estate that backs onto a green belt, so the countryside kind of pops up on you. The walk took us through a new local cemetery which has a natural burials meadow with no markings for the remains on the side we walked through and then onto woodland where we sat together on some logs to share nettle soup.
All along the way we stopped and tried lots of different plants and the dad who was leading collected loads up to have a salad with the soup he had kindly made and brought to share. I was really surprised at the variety of flavours. I kind of expected varying degrees of the taste of grass but all the ones I tried were so different and really flavoursome. I tried ramsons which tasted unmistakeably of garlic, then goose grass which has a hazelnut taste at the end. Bittercress which tasted exactly like ‘normal’ cress, and sorrel which tasted really zingy like crab apples. None of it would be out of place on a garden salad in a posh restaurant for either looks or flavour. It was great to see how easy it is to find edible plants and the best part was all the kids thought it was great and were trying them and getting really involved too.
We passed a pond and saw some frog spawn which I was just as made up with as the kids, even though my inner health and safety regulator comes out in hives when I see children near open water. It was fine, nobody fell in! We clambered over styles which is always fun and splodged in mud, pushed through bushes, and sat on logs. Beg grabbed my hand and asked me to admire the view with her at the top, and we filled our lungs and hair with the wind and I felt thankful to God for our freedom and the green green grass of home. It was such a great day and has helped me to positively reaffirm my home schooling decision.
I would fully recommend trying foraging for yourself. I’m positive you will be surprised at the different tastes. You can make nettle and ramson leaf soup in the same way you would make any soup, just wash them and fry them until soft and add in some vegetables of your choice and blend down. Nettles are apparently full of vitamins and can be used to treat painful muscles and joints. I’m off to find an elderflower cordial recipe on pinterest ready for spring. If you’re into plant-based eating, you may get some inspiration from my Vegan Supper Club post.
Check out my pinterest boards here: The Hippy Christian Mum Pinterest
Enjoy! Have you tried foraging? What did you make?