food for free

Winter foraging – Dave Hamilton

February 17, 2014 // 6 Comments

Winter foraging may seem a bit of a waste of time, surely nothing grows during the dark, wet days of winter.  It’s true that there is a lot less than at other times of the year but even on the coldest days something can be found, you just might have to look that little bit harder. Unlike other times of year I’ve found it best to keep an open mind about what I might want to pick that day. So, [...]

Himalayan Balsam – Impatiens glandulifera – food for free – Dave Hamilton

July 15, 2013 // 10 Comments

After finding out that Japanese Knotweed was edible (use the young shoots as you would rhubarb) I began a quest to find out what other invasive weeds could end up on the dinner plate. I came across a German man called Peter Becker who it seems shares some of my passion for eating invasive species.  Amongst other things he had found some edible uses for Himalayan Balsam, a plant which is choking [...]

April foraging – Early Spring Wild food by Andy Hamilton

April 6, 2012 // 2 Comments

Winter is becoming like last night’s dream and any hazy reminders of its presence are starting to seem out of place. On seemingly dead wood once a tightly packed parcels have now opened to reveal their true nature, these little green miracles are growing with such vigour they are changing the landscape daily. It might be a hungry gap in the garden, but it is anything but in the hedgerow. It’s [...]

Wild food in May – Late Spring Foraging – Food for free in May – Andy Hamilton

May 1, 2010 // 3 Comments

Andy Hamilton “Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” -   Virgil May certainly feels like the time when England has put its party clothes on with so many tree and plants in blossom. I think that May feels like that excitement before a party, the weather is hotting up, it is [...]

Nettle Beer – Andy Hamilton

October 29, 2009 // 6 Comments

Nettle Beer This is an easy recipe to follow and creates a delightful, if not usual tasting beer. It is very cheap to make and follows a traditionally english recipe. Before hops were widely used in the 17th century all sorts of plant were used to flavor the ale including nettles.(Urtica dioica). It was also thought to help alleviate rheumatic pain, gout and asthma. Nettle beer can still be [...]

Japanese Knotweed as a food – By Andy Hamilton

March 30, 2009 // 2 Comments

Japanese Knotweed Fallopia japonica is a plant that can divide forages from allotmenteers. Many foragers love the stuff whilst allotmenteers dread seeing it. Why, you may well ask? Well it is because it is such a thug in fact to call it a thug is to play down its perniciousness. This weed is more like a guerrilla force than a thug, in the plant kingdom this stuff makes mint, brambles and couch [...]

Sorrel and sorrel pesto – Dave Hamilton

September 22, 2008 // 0 Comments

Sorrel is one of those plants that once you find seems to be everywhere! I can’t resist nibbling on the odd leaf while passing. The main wild sorrel you will find is sheep’s sorrel, in the late spring and early summer it sends up clusters of red flowers – like a dock or rhubarb. By autumn the flowers have usually gone and left are spear like leaves growing in clumps. The leaves are a much [...]

Acorn Flour – Andy Hamilton

June 29, 2008 // 0 Comments

Go to your nearest park or forest with oak trees in them and collect a bag full of acorns (or as much as you need) Dry them in the oven using the pilot light (‘s’ on many gas cookers) or very low heat. This will not just dry them, it will also kill off any insects. Crack the shells off, and then soak the shelled acorns in water. Generally, I soak the acorns for a few days to about two [...]