That said I love to pick things, cook something wonderful with them and eat. I am eternally grateful that herbs thrive on neglect so I can add flavour to my food at home. But even better than eating from the fruits of ones labour in the garden is finding and eating food for free.
To be honest. I have been foraging all my life I just didn’t realise that was what it was. As children we picked slows, horse mushrooms, samphire, cob nuts, and of course blackberries. We sucked honeysuckle and dead nettle flowers. Chewed various grasses until we found the sweetest, ate sorrel and daisy stalks which taste of carrots and rubbed common chamomile in our hands to make them smell sweet. With my ponies I ate clover and pulled up ragwort from their fields. I knew where the wonderful wild garlic grew from its pungency and where the terrifying giant hogweed lined the river threatening terrible sores. Puffballs were sources of wonderful explosions when dry and later a delicious pepperyness to eat. As the youngest of four siblings I loved to be alone and in the wild. I even adopted my own wild hazel and called it mine picking the nuts still white and unripe at the end of the summer holidays, because I knew if I left them til I came back at Christmas there would be none. In the spring I walked the river banks picking primroses to make Grey Rabbit’s primrose wine. As I grew up I continued to munch from the hedges as I walked various dogs and children, teaching my sons some of what I knew. I thought this was just my oddity. But I am beginning to realise that this curious interest of mine is not something to hide as a strange idiosyncrasy, but something to be celebrated and shared. So I started Forgotten Paths.