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Talkback: Foraging

We have some amazing little lanes around here for foraging, or just walking through and forgetting you are in the middle of a city. Lots of brambles, of course, but I will have to look closer and see what else I can find. Didnt know that about eating dandelions before they flower - fab. Lovely post.


  • Dandelion roots can make a coffee substitute too. I'm forever pilfering rosehips and crunching them as I walk - they taste like apple-peel.
    Delicious to forage in nature's supermarket instead of in a sterile goliath multi-national.
    Great post - here's to more foraging!
  • Yes it is good to forage, but I can't help but wondering why my wild Blackberries are doing better than my thorn less variety. Do l have to wait a certain amount of time before my thorn less bears fruit ?
  • I love the idea of foraging, but I wonder if I should leave it for the local wildlife that may need it more than I do. So I'm not too weedfree so I can eat what turns up in my garden. Bittercress is lovely and I can feel I'm getting my own back on it! I'm trying to develop a taste for the vast amount of ground elder I have. Any recipes, please?
  • Hi everyone. Thanks for your comments. I like the idea of country-esque lanes helping you forget you're in the middle of the city, Lia. Jude, I worry about that too and I don't take holly berries off trees in winter for that reason. But there are so many berries on the trees and bushes at the moment, many of which are ending up crushed on the floor. I think the key is to not be greedy - just take a little bit here and there, leaving the rest for others and the wildlife. Kate
  • I live in country side but how do you know what okay to pick and what's not?
  • Take care when foraging you don't disturb wasp nests. My dog did the other morning and we both had the stings to prove it! I'm looking at self-set hedge plants to put around my rather conspicuous garden fence, they are in abudance in the hedgerows around us.
  • Hi Vee. I'd only pick what you can identify. There are lots of foraging books available to help you id plants, berries and fungi in the field. I'm a bit chicken when it comes to mushrooms. I wouldn't recommend picking them unless you're with an expert. Nettles and dandelions are easy to identify, as are blackberries. When picking leaves though I always make sure I pick from the middle of the clump - that way I (hopefully) avoid eating leaves which have been visited by dogs marking their territory! Kate
  • richard mabey's food for free is great to take along so you can identify stuff. it's small and will fit into a jacket pocket.
  • rosehips are called gratte-cul in french, and dandelions pissenlit.
  • Sample fruit from wayside cherry trees, many are very palatable and sometimes you will find a gem of a tree that you can go back to year on year. This year is terrific for cherries and lots of the ornamentals produce a morello like cherry which is fine for pies and crumbles etc.
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