Eatweeds Podcast #2: Beyond Botany


In Episode 2 of the Eatweeds Podcast Robin Harford interviews his Russian friend, plantwalker and herbalist Olya Maiboroda about how we can know plants beyond the usual botanical methods.

Something that pretty much all indigenous cultures have in common, is that we where foragers before botany was even dreamt up, and as a result how did humans discover the medicinal and edible uses for plants?

Trial and error is usually what people give as the answer, yet 50,000 heck even 5000 years ago there just were not enough people on the planet to make trial and error a viable option, so might there have been “other ways of knowing” that we have forgotten?

Oxeye Daisy Bruschette

Oxeye Daisy Recipe
It’s bitterly cold outside and I’m wandering around my local foraging area looking for something to gather. My body is wanting something with lots of garlic, and oil and fresh raw tomatoes. Not the usual foods one would necessarily want on a cold day, but as I am just getting over a monstrous upper respiratory infection, one which has seen me consume upwards of 15 garlic cloves a day over taking regular antibiotics. I think the craving for the foods stuff is still part of my ‘cure’, well bread aside that is.

Three Cornered Leek Hummus

Three Cornered Leek Hummus Recipe

It’s the end of January and I head out to forage, unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I don’t need to step any further than my garden. Not because I have some lush cultivated veggies to harvest, but because my garden is putting forth a ubiquitous wild edible plant known as Three Cornered Leek (Allium triquetrum), or as some wild flower ID books call it Three Cornered Garlic. An immigrant plant to these shores and yet another that get’s attacked for daring to chance its luck on Blighty!

A Different Rowan Recipe: Rowan Turkish Delight

Rowan Turkish Delight Recipe

Although I am not a big consumer of sweets or deserts, I do have somewhat of a sweet tooth for Turkish Delight, in fact I find it deeply exotic. It must be something to do with being read the Arabian Nights as a child, as well as my love of foods made with roses, which I absolutely love. I find them deeply sensual, see my Rose Petal Honey for an example of serious food porn.

Recently I discovered some Rowan berries in my freezer, and pondered what I might do with them. A different kind of Rowan Recipe was calling to me other than the traditional… “Well they make a nice jelly for meats”.