Parsnip & Sorrel

Winter drags its frosted heels.  Spring will never come, so it seems.  The wild birds (those that have not vacated these shores for warmer places) line the branches, seemingly waiting for something.  There are signs of change if I look hard enough.  Herbaceous plants, early daffodils, eager snowdrops, a few hardy grasses, pushing their fat…

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Wild Garlic Pickles

Although the wild garlic is only just starting to peek above the chilly soil, I cannot help myself but start planning all the things I will be making from this pungent plant over the next couple of months.

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Wild Miso Soup

Frost clings to the mornings, glittering in the rising sun. Yet even now spring waits in the wings, ready with a prompt. Deep in the woods, wild garlic begins to poke slim green fingers at the sky, beckoning in warmer days. In the damp sheltered corners of fields and under hedgerows, diverse edible greens cluster,…

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A Year in the Garden

Last year I was approached by a publisher about writing a book. A kind of guide to the things I am doing here, separated into sections – a year in the garden, and year with the bees, a year of wild food, etc. This was to be a narrative, interspersed with recipes and more practical…

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Flavours of the Forest

The flavour of dried ceps and other boletes is altogether different to the fresh mushrooms. Deep and dusky, it speaks of forests and earth, of leaf litter and moss. To me, it is one of those special ingredients, along with things like butter or vinegar, that can transform a dish from the mundane to the magnificent.

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Wild Washing

Our house, being a random and teetering pile of half-completed refurbishments and ancient farm, has drainage that can only be described as unpredictable. Like most houses in the rural areas of France, we have a septic tank rather than mains drainage. When we moved here, we had to replace the old septic tank to be in…

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Winter Chanterelle Tagliatelle

It is very cold, and mist curls through the bronzing leaves of the forest canopy, turning trees into hulking shadows, half-hidden keepers of old secrets.  The feeling in my fingers is gone.  Dewdrops collect in my beard and eyebrows, and I cannot feel my nose.  I am shivering, and somewhat lost, but I do not…

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On Chestnuts, Oyster Mushrooms, and Ancient Mutants

One of the attractions of foraging is that it is possible to find flavours and textures that are unavailable in the shops.  Most wild mushrooms are so complex in their relationships to the land, to the other organisms that share that space, that they are difficult or impossible to cultivate.  You might find penny buns…

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