Food Foraging Lessons for the Recession
image from ajooma.net
Food foraging has moved from being something out there on the fringe to an almost mainstream hobby. Or necessity, if things continue the way they are going. Given the mood of these times, more and more people are taking it up. Courses are being offered to city slickers so that they can become educated in the ways of the forest--a good idea because there are dangerous plants that can be eaten mistakenly. Even a pro like Nicholas Evans, author of the Horse Whisperer, recently needed dialysis after eating the wrong wild mushrooms in Scotland.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and author of The River Cottage Cookbook, has been offering an 'Edible Hedgerows' day, where participants can spend a day learning about the plants in the Dorset countryside. Ray Mears, t.v. star and wilderness specialist has been offering courses that include foraging.image from ajooma.net
There are specialist courses delving into the mysteries of mushrooms. For example, Mrs. Tee's Wild Mushrooms offers a day-long course in the New Forest where students learn how to identify 8 species, how to pick them properly and even how to cook them. Different mushrooms like different forests and trees, so with 3,000 types in the New Forest alone, one had better learn the lessons well.
The National Trust is getting into the act too. They are giving working holiday courses of a week long, where foraging is part of the programme. Participants can learn how to make nettle soup and wild leaf salad in June, while in September the group will look for mushrooms and forage hedgerows for blackberries and nuts. The TelegraphMore on Food ForagingFood Foraging for the Faint-heartedFood Foraging: Gourmet Food HuntingA Year in the Woods Eating Wild Food