I’ve been interested in wild food for some time now, but have tended to stick to the few I know and haven’t gone out of my way to find new wild foods to try.
I’ve now decided to find one new wild food a week - to learn everything about it – including any possible dangerous lookalikes. Pick it, research it, press it, draw it, smell, feel, touch and taste (if edible!). And of course share my findings on here.
I know that for each plant I learn my eye will improve. You start to see shape and colour, serrated or plain edges, succulence, delicacy, the feel of the square stem of those in the mint family, the dry taste of tannins. But I have to learn through being out there.
You can only learn so much from books, though they are useful to have. Three of my favourites are: Wild Food: A Complete Guide for Foragers by Roger Phillips; Food for Free by Richard Mabey; and The Foragers Apprentice by David Beazley.
A book can never impart touch, texture, smell, taste, aura, or mood. These you only learn these things by finding and handling the food.
I know from past experience that the plants soon start to teach you. Your eyes start to truly see, your whole senses will start to tell you about the world around you in a new way. You experience a sense of harmony with nature that doesn’t just find you food, but revives your spirit and lifts your heart too.
In our brains we’re hard-wired to be foragers. And now I’m going to start to be open again to that knowledge – one plant at a time.