Foraging in Spring | Bridgwater & Taunton College

To truly experience the effect of spring on your wellbeing, get amongst it and directly sample some of its delight. All of that energy and life surging through the plant’s vascular system can be put to good use in your own body, so go for the freshest, youngest parts of the plant. Here are a few simple suggestions for some free locally sourced, organic food!

The humble nettle shouldn’t be feared. This plant is exorbitantly nutritious and is said to aid many ailments. The top four to six leaves can be put to good use. Throw a few leaves into hot water for a delicious tea or use like a leafy vegetable. For something different try nettle pizza! Several wildflowers can be used as a salad leaf. For a quick and easy way of jazzing up your cheese sarnie, look no further than wild garlic. It is easy to identify by its aroma!

You will have weeds in your garden that you can turn to your culinary advantage. Weeding will never be a chore again, if you turn your garden into a salad bar. Chick weed, purslane, sorrel and plantain can all replace your iceberg lettuce. Next time you reach for the weed killer to achieve that bowling green finish, consider a foraging session instead. The much maligned dandelion has multiple uses with every part of it available to be consumed. For example the flowers can be used to make a wine or for the teetotal amongst you, dry and roast the roots and use it to make a coffee like drink.

Plenty of flowers can be harvested and put to good use, providing both sustenance and colour to a dish. The sweet scented, cute flowers of viola make a wonderful garnish. Finally, don’t forget elder, many a wild food hunters gateway into foraging. Used to make a delicious cordial or a summer jelly, they are easy to identify and are in abundance around the region.

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