Finding Food for Free in Wild Nature
Cranesbill, sorrel, hawthorn, sloes, yarrow, wild marjoram
Today we meet round the fire, feeling the wind, and the few drops of rain on our faces. It's our time to reflect, and to open the senses to what's around us.
We talk about autumn, the time of gathering, and how we feel about the season. The light is changing, the air feels different. Winter is coming.
Some are looking forward to getting cosy indoors. Some need to stay busy to not be overwhelmed by the dark days.
The exercise we're given is to go off into the wood and to awaken the senses: sight, touch, smell, taste... [Click the Read More link to see more]
I find my not-so-secret spot, sit under the hawthorn, looking out at the layers of plants, so much greenery.
I rub my fingers over the plant that surrounds my feet, leaves angled to catch as much of the light as it can. I am surprised to discover the leaves are soft and feathery. Light. They smell amazing. Something like a cross between lavender and geraniums. Cranesbill I learn later.
I love this spot because the wild food is so abundant nearby. Plants I read about in foraging books, all in one place. Like well stocked shelves, waiting to be discovered.
I pick and smell, nibble and gather.... rosehips, sloes, haws, mint, oregano, elderberries, sorrel, ground ivy, yarrow, dandelion, plantain, burdock, blackberries.
Haws taste like apples.
Sorrel like lemons.
Dandelion is bitter.
Oregano and mint smell... just heavenly.
With so much to be found for free, it is really making me think about food differently.
This article first appeared on the Fox and Fire Blog.
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Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.