Dave Hamilton

Sumac – Dave Hamilton

October 9, 2012 // 3 Comments

Stag Horn Sumac – Rhus typhina The Forager’s Lemon Staghorn Sumac makes a tasty lemonade. The small furry drupes form a larger structure called a panicle – picture by Dave Hamilton Sumac is one of those plants you may have seen a thousand times but never really realised it had an edible use. It’s not a truly wild plant in the UK but it does readily escape from gardens as [...]

Preserving Cherries

July 27, 2012 // 4 Comments

Town planners of 20th century often included cherry trees in their planting schemes as they loved the blossom. The fruit was something of an afterthought, but not for us foragers. It has meant that added to the list of usual places to hunt for cherries you should include housing estates and parks. You will more often than not find the bitter bird cherry. but on some occasions you can strike the [...]

Dave Hamilton

May 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Dave Hamilton is a freelance writer, forager, garden tutor and garden consultant. His main work is as a garden writer and in this capacity he has written for (amongst others) BBC Gardener’s World Magazine, The Guardian and Grow Your Own. He co-authored the Self-Sufficient-ish Bible with his brother Andy and wrote the award winning book Grow Your Food For Free. In addition to garden writing he [...]

No-Dig Gardening by Dave Hamilton

May 8, 2012 // 2 Comments

The following article first appeared in ‘Grow your own’ magazine back in February as part of my ‘Theory Behind…’ series. In traditional gardening and farming, land is weeded and/or cleared of crops before a soil improver such as compost and/or manure is dug or ploughed into the soil to improve the soil structure, aerate the soil and add nutrition. With ‘no-dig’ [...]

Courgettes, Marrows and Squash Cucurbita pepo by Dave Hamilton

July 6, 2008 // 0 Comments

History The name ‘squash’ derives from the Massachusett Native American name ‘askutasquash’ meaning eaten raw. As any vegetable grower will tell you, there are a baffling number of different species of squash or ‘Cucurbita’ to use their grouped botanical name. The most common species grown in the UK is ‘Curcurbita Pepo’ and includes the courgette, [...]

Tomatoes -Solanum lycopersicum by Dave Hamilton

July 6, 2008 // 0 Comments

Early June is around the time you should be thinking about putting out your tomato plants.   Or for those lucky enough to have heated greenhouses it is the time you will be well into your winter sown crop. Tomatoes are certainly not one of the easiest crops to grow. I think they are one of the most rewarding especially since most of the supermarkets have decided to sell a choice of either •  [...]

Maize, Corn, Sweetcorn, Zea Mays by Dave Hamilton

July 6, 2008 // 0 Comments

Botanical History Maize is the third most grown cereal crop in the world after rice and wheat. Like wheat and rice, it is also a type of grass with an overgrown seed head.  It is generally agreed that it originated in Central or South America but this is speculation as there is no living wild relative.  Two possible ancestors are the annual Zea mexicana (know as Teosinte locally) and the [...]

Onions Allium cepa By Dave Hamilton

July 6, 2008 // 0 Comments

History The onion (or allium) family is a large and diverse one containing over 500 species. With such a large range of species the origins of the modern (or globe) onion are a bit blurred. It has not one but five possible wild plants it could have evolved from, all of which grow in the central Asian region. It is thought that bulbs from the onion family have been utilised as a food source for [...]

Lettuce – Lactuca sativa- Daisy Family By Dave Hamilton

July 6, 2008 // 0 Comments

History The wild origin of our modern lettuce, Lactuca serriola , can still be seen all over Europe and the more temperate parts of Asia. It is likely that it originated on the Mediterranean rim on rocky wasteland or woodland clearings.   This ancient wild relative of the modern lettuce contains a narcotic similar to opium. The Romans took advantage of this property eating lettuce at the end of [...]

Rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum By Dave Hamilton

July 6, 2008 // 0 Comments

Fruit or Vegetable? As the stems and not the fruit of the pant are eaten botanically speaking rhubarb is a vegetable and not a fruit. However the US customs in Buffalo 1947 ruled that it should be deemed as a fruit because of the way it is served. Most of us have probably had it with in pies and crumbles heavily laden with sugar to take away the tartness. In parts of Poland rhubarb is still [...]
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