Look how beautiful wild food can be. And it's super healthy. Stunning violet and primrose flower salad made by @forage_brighton for our session with the Academy of Medical Science today.
Wild food, the outdoors, and a fire have an uncanny way of bringing people together.
Read more about our away days and activities for teams organisations here.
Yesterday we were shut down by vegan protestors.
After all the debate online, and the rescheduling, four rather angry, intimidating, and determined fundamentalists, arrived uninvited, and disrupted our by now infamous rabbit class.
It didn’t get ugly but it was unpleasant and upsetting, to say the least.
We tried talking to them, to explain what we were doing and why. They weren’t interested. We tried asking them to leave. They just said, “make us.”
We tried quietly carrying on with what we were doing. But it was impossible to hear each other above all the shouts and aggressive chanting, let alone have a conscious exploration of what it means to eat meat.
We all felt pretty powerless in the face of this onslaught. I know I did.
After about an hour of relentless pressure, we gave up and stopped the class. And the rabbits stayed in the box.
A big thank you to everyone who responded to our survey asking whether we should run our How to Skin a Rabbit session. The replies have been very interesting, and are printed below in the order they were received, to encourage more thought and reflection about the issue:
NB click these links to read part 1 and part 2 of this story, which explain how the survey came about.
"As a meat eater, I think it is important to acknowledge where my food comes from”
"At some point I would like to learn this as I think if you eat meat you should be able to also kill animals and handle the preparing of the meat. It should be ensured that the animals were raised and killed humanely and respectfully.”
"As a non-meat eater I would not do it. I think the session should also be how to skin and cook a rabbit, I think the workshop is only ok if the rabbit is actually eaten at the end of it by the participants. I think if people eat meat then they should 'do the dirty work themselves' so to speak and if you can't do that like me, then don't eat meat. People should face up to the realities of where their food comes from and if they are too squeamish to kill an animal themselves then maybe they shouldn't expect others to do it for them. I don't have a problem with the workshop as long as the rabbit is eaten and not wasted but I would never do it because I don't eat meat.”
A couple of months ago, I asked our subscribers what they thought about the Rabbit Skinning class that we’d scheduled.
I explained how the idea for the class came about (in Part 1 of this article), but that we’d sold no tickets, and that I’d had several strong complaints from people who thought the session was gratuitous and cruel.
These complaints gave me pause for thought, and I wondered if there was some kind of ethical or ecological conflict between foraging and animal welfare.
So I sent out a survey asking what people thought about it.
A big thank you to everyone who responded - the feedback has been very interesting, and overwhelmingly in favour of running the session.
88% said you thought we should run the class, 12% said not to, and of those who said yes we should do it, 68% also said they’d attend the class.
Wild pigeon breasts were perfect with the nettle pesto that the group made. Foraging, wild food and wine tasting with the Brighton Wine Company
Wild samphire canapés prepared by @forage_brighton at our Foraging and Wine Tasting session with the Brighton Wine Company
A couple of years ago I went on a wild bushcraft weekend in some woods near the Ashdown Forest.
It was sunny and breezy, and over the course of the weekend we were shown various skills: how to build a shelter from branches and leaves, spoon carving, making string from wild plants, how to purify water using dirt and moss…
We also were taught how to skin a wild rabbit.
To be honest, I didn’t fancy the rabbit session that much. I’m a bit squeamish and although I am a meat eater I don’t eat rabbit. But in the interests of learning a survival skill and of getting closer to something I usually take for granted, I thought I’d give it a go.
It was harder than I expected, and peeling back the fur and the skin to reveal the raw sinews and muscle underneath made me feel pretty uncomfortable.
Wood Sorrel's heart-shaped leaves taste like apple peel and lemons. Great for quenching thirst. Here's they're unfolding after a night of rain.
#foraging #wildfood #wales #naturesbounty
Mike the forager explains the difference between Sea Beet and Sea Kale, down at Seaford Head, at our Coastal Foraging with your Senses walk.
Lucy free pours Mayfield Gin into a participant's glass to finish off the Wild Smash cocktail that she taught us how to make on our Foraging Walk and Wild Cocktail Masterclass at The Queen Vic pub in Rottingdean as part of Sussex Gin Week
#gin #cocktails #wildcocktails
On a recce for our Wild Cocktail Walk and Masterclass near Rottingdean with Jane and Lucy - the hedge witches. The class is on August 31st - tickets available here.
#foraging #rottingdean #queenvic #mayfieldgin #cocktailweek
Wild Sushi making outdoors wild food class at WeWork Summer Camp, led by Jane Hedgewitch
#wwcamp17 #vegan #wildtime #wildfood
Hogweed and Ground Elder pan fried over an open fire by forager Sarah Watson at our foraging and wild food day for Acumen Business Club.
Add salt and a little lemon juice. Yum.
#wildfood #openfirecooking #foraged #campfirecooking #edibleweeds #wildtime
We're giving away a free guide to foraging for wild food in the UK.
• Why Wild Food is Amazing!
• Best Places to Find Wild Food
• Forager's Rules
• 17 Easy-To-Find Wild Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat
Click this button to claim your free guide:
Checking out the location for a big wild food cooking day that we're running for a Brighton business leaders club, with Sarah Watson
#foragersofinstagram #foraging #stanmerpark #southdowns #brighton #wildtime #wildwomen
Speedwell is great for soothing coughs and colds. I'll be trying it out later!
Learning about more wild plants on a sunny forage with Sarah Watson.
#stanmerpark #wildfood #wildherbs #wildlife #forage #foraging #brighton
On a recce to find the right venue for our coastal foraging session, with Mike the Forager.
Looks like it'll be near Seaford in Sussex.
While we're out looking, we nibble on sea blight, sea purslane, and the very yummy sea kale flowers.
#foraging #cuckmerehaven #coastal #sussex #wildfood #natureisamazing
Bristly oxtongue tempura, cooked over open fire.
Bristly oxtongue is often treated as a weed. The spiny tongue-shaped leaves look and feel like sandpaper, but when young they are juicy and milky, with a soft bitter flavor.
Ingredients for the tempura batter
Dip bristly oxtongue leaves into batter.
Drop into hot vegetable oil.
Fry til golden brown all over.
#campfirecooking #wildcooking #wildfoods #wildfoodlove #foraging #stanmerpark #brighton
Pictures from today's foraging and wild food cooking masterclass led by Robert Fallon.
The fire lit, the sun was shining. We learned to make nettle pesto, wild pigeon medallions, chestnut flour pancakes and elderflower amber.
So much delicious wild food and learning packed into a morning.
Despite the sting and the trickiness of picking them, I love stinging nettles. Especially nettle tea which is tasty and energising.
We made nettle tea on Sunday which prompted me to write this post.
Nettles have been used for hundreds of years to treat all sorts of ailments, and will strengthen and support your whole body.
Nettles are one of the most nutrient dense wild foods you can find. In fact they're a superfood.
Nettles are high in calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, potassium, trace minerals, protein and many vitamins including A and C...
Eating nettles or drinking nettle tea makes your hair shinier and your skin clearer, nourishes the blood, clears the mucous membranes and reduces inflammation - forager Robin Harford describes the feeling he gets from drinking nettle tea as like being moisturised from the inside out.
Basically nettle is all round very good for us. Here's just 30 of the benefits of nettles...
Last weekend I drove to Exmoor for a gathering organised by Robin Harford, the best forager I know. (I’ll take every opportunity I can to learn from him.)
Robin is an intuitive forager. His method is to use all of your senses to get to know a plant: sight, touch, smell, and only when you’re 150% sure, to taste.
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday in Stanmer Park, Brighton. Perfect for our latest event, A Forager's Feast with Wild Spring Greens, led by Robert Fallon of Wild Nature.
We started by going out to forage for nettles, one of nature's superfoods. On the way to the nettle patch, we tasted Blackthorn flowers, and thistle stalks (remove the spikes first), and were warned about ragweed and hemlock.
Back at our outdoors kitchen, we prepared, and ate:
Pictures from the day below!
Nigel Berman is founder of School of the Wild, a school of wild skills and wild thought.