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Wild Garlic Adventures: Foraging Fun with Family!

Well, hello! Guess what? Wild garlic season is just around the corner – during family sessions at Wild Things we love picking wild garlic and using it to create something super tasty.


But before we dive into the world of foraging, let me ask you a question: Have you ever tried your hand at gathering food in the wild? If not, what's been holding you back? Worried about accidentally picking something poisonous? Not sure where to start or when things are in season? Or maybe you're unsure what to do with your foraged treasures once you've found them?


Well, fear not! Keep reading, and I'll share some tips and tricks to ease your worries and give you the confidence to give it a try.


Tips:

  • Always take your time and be careful when identifying plants to avoid picking anything harmful. Double-checking is key!

  • Use photos to help identify plants based on their leaf shape, colour, scent (if applicable), and flower.

  • Remember to gather leaves from multiple plants and only take what you need, leaving plenty for others and for nature to thrive.

  • When harvesting, pick the leaves instead of uprooting the entire plant.

  • Avoid picking from nature reserves and private lands, as well as areas near agricultural fields that may have been treated with chemicals.

  • Be mindful of dog walking routes, especially if foraging low-growing plants.

Now, I don't want foraging to sound intimidating! It's all about being prepared and aware of your surroundings.


Benefits of foraging with your children:


It's a fantastic way to deepen their appreciation for nature, provide hands-on learning opportunities about plant identification and ecosystems, and develop important life skills like responsibility and self-sufficiency. It might also help to encourage them to try new foods—trust me, if they've picked it and helped cook it, they'll likely enjoy eating it too! And let's not forget the priceless memories and stronger family bonds forged during these adventures.

 

What's in season?


Wild garlic! Thriving in damp woodlands with its deep green leaves and distinct garlic aroma, it's a gem to find from early spring to early summer. When identifying wild garlic, look for long, pointed leaves with a smooth texture and a strong garlic scent when crushed. Just be cautious not to mistake it for Lily of the Valley, which is toxic if ingested. They both have long green pointy leaves and white flowers - but the lily of the valley flowers are bell shaped so check carefully, as they do like to grow in the same area.



What’s on the menu?


One simple and delicious way to enjoy wild garlic is by making wild garlic butter. Simply chop a handful of wild garlic leaves, mix them into softened butter with a pinch of salt, roll into a log using parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm. Then add to roasted vegetables, grilled meats, or a family favourite, spread onto crusty bread.





Beyond wild garlic butter, there are lots of other creative ways to use this herb. Consider making wild garlic pesto, adding it to scone batter for a savoury twist, or tossing it into salads for a burst of freshness. The white flowers can also be eaten and are a great addition to salads.


Now it's your turn to have a go! Gather your supplies, head out into nature, and see what treasures you can find. Experiment with different recipes, and don't forget to share your wild garlic creations with us! Happy foraging!


Stay Wild,

Emma

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