The Mountain Food Company Ltd
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Contact Yun Hider on 01994 419555
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email - YunHider@mountainfood.org
To help introduce you to this wonderful environment that we have the pleasure of working in and also assist with your menu planing. I'm compiling a diary that will hopefully share some of the very special 'moments' that we experience while out foraging and give you an insight into what's growing throughout the seasons.
January 27th 2009
Almost a year has passed since my last entry in this diary... I'm reminded
of the importance of making the most of every day! My challenge today was to
find some Rock samphire. This intriguing plant lives on rocky outcrops/sea cliffs
and at low tide and in the pouring rain I set off to a little bay near Newport
Pembrokeshire. I already knew about a small patch growing at one side of the
beach but today I wanted to explore the neighbouring bay which can only be accessed
at a very low tide... scrambling around on some pretty trick terrain I eventually
found some... its in its very early stage of growth 1-2"...with a few sprigs
left still living from last year. On route to the beach I stopped by at a very
special spot where I know I can find some of the earliest wild garlic in the
UK... the extreme frosts that we've had in the last 3-4 weeks must have held
this plant back as I found it week earlier last year.
Its feels like its been a relitivly short winter and today, Februray 10th feels like Spring, a beautiful blue sky day... loads of great wild vegetables to be found. Particularly interesting was my discovery of Wild Garlic during the second week of January... now thats out particularly early, but only is this one special patch I know which always provides me with the first Wild Garlic of the season.
My appologies to anybody thats been trying to catch up with this diary... We've been out foraging every week, just havent got round to logging my expolits. I've had an extreamly busy summer and Automn. Anyhow its winter now and things are really starting to change... All the fruits are gone...just Hawthorne berries left here in Wales. I was foraging just outside Cambridge a couple of weeks ago and there were still loads of Sloes and Rosehips. So don't forget you've onl;y got to put a few miles under your belt and if your lucky, you can still find what you want! Still lots to see here in Wales, the Wood Sorrel is in fine condition and we've even got Pennywort. Other stuff we're picking at the moment, Sorrel, Hairy Bittercress, Nettles, Alexanders, Sea Beet, Sea Purslane and Gorse Flowers.
Wednesday 18th July 2007
It's a real summer's day today, blue sky, fluffy white clouds and a warm breeze. The Meadowsweet should be good for a good few more weeks, offially in flower through to October. I'm still finding some lovely examples of the Red Clover flowers. I had to go deep into the heart of the forest to find what is probably the last of the Red Dead Nettle flowers. While in the shade and cool of the forest, I picked some Hawthorne leaves. This is the only place where the Hawthorne leaves stay fresh and soft. Outside of the forest where they're exposed to the weather, they quickly harden up and become leathery.
Saturday 14th July
Yesterday's rainfall was incredible practically non-stop rain falling out the
sky; the river level did indeed rise, higher in fact that it's been in a long
time. Our normal Wood sorrel and Hairy Bittercress sites will have been flooded
out so it will be a few days before we can pick there again.
Friday 13th July 2007
Torrential rain... not good if you're hoping to collect Hairy Bittercress... This plant lives along the sides of small streams and brooks. However, the show must go on... so I'm donning my waterproofs and heading out with the hope of getting some in before the river levels rise.
Monday 9th July 2007
It a blue sky again with a great deal cumulus cloud about and no doubt rain is on the way... but its dry now so I'm off out to try and gather the last of the elder flowers. I'll also be picking some of the breathtakingly beautiful clover flowers that I spotted yesterday. Massive heads almost 5cm in diameter. It was a splash of their almost regal purple color that caught my eye. Each sphere full of perfect petals just waiting to be plucked and scatted upon a plate. Also out now is the Red Dead Nettle plant, small delicately shaped flowers with a sweet taste. Meadow Sweet is out in abundance now… you've got to know where to look but once you've found some, you'll find plenty more! These sweet smelling tufts of white flowers used to be used in medieval times as a substitute for honey and a chef I know is currently using them to flavor custard.
Wednesday 4th July 2007
The Winds blowing a hooley today. I found myself battling within a wild rose bush, trying to pick wild rose buds and petals while getting buffeted by the estuaries extremely strong winds.
Tuesday 3rd July 2007
Its a blue sky day with intermittent showers... if it stays dry long enough, we should be able to go out and pick a few of the various flowers that are out now.
Out at the moment...Clover flowers, Meadow sweet and Wild Rose petals. If I get the ladder out, I may even be able to reach the last of the Elder flowers.
Down at the beach, while the Sea Beet flowers a beautiful plant called Spear Leaved Orache is available, steamed for 5 minutes its delicious and the leaf looks really good!
All plants obviously change as they grow through the various seasons, so detailed below is a list of what's in prime condition this month!
· Wood Sorrel
· Hedge Sorrel
· Hairy Bittercress
· Red Clover
· Wild Rose
· Spear Leaved Orache
· Sea Purslane
· Meadow Sweet
· Red Dead Nettle flowers
For more information on the individual plants click here to go to our A-Z of wild food.
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