Packed and ready to go, with knife in one hand and field guide in the other, Loaf is leaving the city and heading to the woods for a weekend of wild food foraging in North Yorkshire. Fortunately, as a wild food novice, Loaf is not alone, and will be guided through the woods by the (hopefully) very knowledgeable guys at Taste The Wild. Left to my own devices I’d probably be blissfully munching on a hemlock and death cap salad, thinking I was the new Bear Grylls and dreaming of my first TV series! Hopefully I’ll more than just stay alive though – I’m hoping to be picking roasted squirrel out of my teeth, and have a belly-full of wood sorrel come Sunday lunch time (though too much of that stuff isn’t great for you either!). I’ve noticed a few mushrooms around recently, I’m wondering whether the changeable weather has brought an early start to the mushroom season again this year? Who knows, might get some fungi-action in too this weekend.
I’ve ticked off the kit list, and trying not to look too much of a teachers pet, have packed my foraging essentials (none of these on the kit list!): the foraging bag passed down the family-in-law (Used as a ‘scrumping’ bag by successive generations), my French Nontron knife, Richard Maybe’s pocket-size ‘Food for Free’, a ‘Field guide to mushrooms and other fungi’, and a moleskine notebook and pencil. I am leaving my Dordogne mushrooming-basket at home though, don’t want to seem too keen…
There’ll be a full review early next week, and if my battery lasts and signal-allowing, a few #wildfood tweets over the weekend. I’m hoping to bring a few skills back to apply in the woodlands around Birmingham (Sutton Park, Balaams Wood, the one at Earlswood lakes…), and who knows, maybe pick up some urban-foraging tips to use here in Brum – I did forage loads of Jack-by-the-Hedge and wild garlic earlier in the year, as well as nettles, blackberries, and plums so far. More next week, but follow me on twitter for updates and photos over the weekend.