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Foraging News from Hedgerow Harvest
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“It’s summer and time for wandering…”


I'm just back from my bit of wandering, a few weeks in a pretty sunny North Wales enjoying the outdoors from shoreline to mountain top. The batteries are recharged after a good run of courses before going and ready for plenty more to come starting this weekend. Time seems to fly by so fast so do take time to get out and enjoy the natural world and the foraging opportunities it presents this summer.

Thanks to those that have recently attended our courses and events. Click on the photos to go to blog posts on the events with more photos.
Hen party on their foraging walk gathering seashore wild ingredients for their three course lunch.
Hen party on their foraging walk gathering seashore wild ingredients for their three course lunch.
Seaweed foraging near Weymouth Dorset for our three course lunch - seaweed in every course.
Seaweed foraging near Weymouth Dorset for our three course lunch - seaweed in every course. If we get sufficient demand we will run another one of these over the summer. Please get in touch.
We've been adding some new courses to our programme (more details below) but in the next few months you can join us on our Summer Foraging, Coastal Plants Walk, Family Hedgerow Walk, Family Seashore Walk, Seashore walk or Fruit and Nut courses.
Booze walk Andy Hamilton
Next Spring is a very long way off, but we are pleased to announce that Andy Hamilton (no - not that one) will be coming to Dorset to lead one of his famous wild booze walks for us. He is one of THE experts on this subject, being the author of the best-selling Booze for Free and Brewing Britain: The Quest for the Perfect Pint. He writes for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph amongst others and frequently appears on TV and Radio talking about foraging and booze. You may have seen him on Autumnwatch, Countryfile, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and more.  Places are strictly limited and are available for booking. Our gift vouchers can be used for places.
Looking forward to meeting you or seeing you again.

Best wishes,

James

Elderflower - THE taste of summer.

On our recent seaweed course the pudding was Elderflower Panna Cotta made with seaweed. The flavour from the fresh Elderflower was absolutely AMAZING. You can also, like many other recipes, use cordial in their place. Remarkably 46 million litres of Elderflower Cordial were sold in 2015, plus goodness knows how much was made at home! I am about to get some Elderflower Champagne and more cordial on the go. I have made them since childhood and think they are both wonderful. Many foragers make them and I encourage you to do so. However, there are so many more things that you can do with Elderflower including the below:

  • Drinks - Wine, Gin, Vodka, Cider, tea

Elderflower has a strong affinity with Gooseberry, Rhubarb, Raspberries, Strawberries or Pears and the combination works well in some of the below.

  • Sorbet, lollies, fritters, fool, crumble, jelly, ice cream, cheesecake, Crème Brûlée
  • Cream, vinegar, Turkish delight, chutney, jam, cakes, sugar

We recently wrote a blog post on Elderflower with recipes and includes other useful Elderflower information.

elderflower recipes and foraging tips
Elderflowers - the season is moving along - stop what you are doing and pick some now!

Summer foraging course - 9th July - Dorset

The long days of summer bring a new range of wild food for the forager. The summer fruits, such as wild Gooseberries, Raspberries, Mirabelles and Sea Buckthorn berries are ready to harvest. Delicious fungi can found in old, unimproved meadows. Flowers can be gathered for making into drinks, both soft and alcoholic, and wonderful puddings. There are still salad greens and wild vegetables to be found in hedgerows, fields and beside river and shore. For those that enjoy shellfish, crabs may be caught. 

This is a full day course comprising:

  • Two or more foraging walks / activities. These could include crabbing, looking for fungi, gathering wild fruit and collecting greens/flowers from hedgerows, fields, river and shore.
  • An indoor session preparing, cooking and eating a three-course lunch based on our finds.
  • An illustrated talk on wild foods. 

See a video or a blog post on one of our summer foraging courses.

Gathering Fat Hen on a summer foraging course
Gathering Fat Hen on a summer foraging course.

New - Coastal Plants Walk

Our seashore foraging walks give an introduction to the range of wild foods at the coast, with a overview of edible plants, seaweed and shellfish. For those that want to go into more detail we have our Seaweed and Eat It! day course and have now added a Coastal Plants Walk. On this we will go into greater depth looking at many more of the delicious and varied edible plants to be found at the seaside from saltmarsh to cliffs and everywhere in between. 
  • Wild vegetables - favourites like Marsh Samphire, Sea Beet and Alexanders
  • Salad leaves like Rocket
  • Berries such as Sea Buckthorn
  • Herbs like Fennel

This session takes the form of a three hour walk and is running near Weymouth in Dorset on 16th July. Details and booking can be found here.

Sea Buckthorn berries
Sea Buckthorn berries.

New - Family Foraging Walks Series

We think that foraging and subsequent cooking are excellent activities for children and parents to do together. They offer fresh air, exercise and something to eat or drink at the end.  While we get some children attending our day courses and walks, we believe it is better to run separate courses for adults and families, so we can pitch the course at the right level and maintain the interest of all.

We now offer a range of foraging walks aimed at families - hedgerow, seashore and fungi and run them at locations in Dorset and Hampshire.

Hedgerow - discover some of the edible plants, flowers, nuts and berries to be found in our hedgerows.
Seashore - wander the seashore to track down great wild veg, seaweed and possibly more!
Fungi - enter the magical kingdom of mushrooms; learn all about them and be amazed at the variety to be found.

Details and booking can be found here.
Elderflower Panna Cotta made with seaweed
Happy family on a fungi walk.
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