Mahonia Flowers

Here’s Why I Call This Plant ‘Angels Breath’

Each year I set the intention to gather pine pollen, and each year I miss the season.

That’s one of the frustrations about foraging. With so many plants out there, sometimes there just isn’t enough time to gather them all when they are at their best.

Yet out of this frustration comes forth a delight. You’ve gotta love paradox!

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Beech Leaf Tea Recipe

This Common Tree Reveals A Delicious Winter Secret

It’s been a chilly old Winter this year, and I trust you have had lovely festivities over the past couple of weeks.

Winter is an exciting time for me as a forager. While others bemoan the decline in wild edible plants, I on the other hand get all excited wondering what I can find and what I can prepare from the limited availability out on the land.

A couple of days ago, as I was taking the grand-urchins outside to play, my eyes took in the beauty of the ‘skeleton trees’ against grey sky, and the patterns and shapes they make.

Senses open up when I do this. And I love the natural form and structure devoid of any human mingling. Natural art right in front of us.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed some honey golden beech leaves on a hedge, and was immediately taken back to working with chef Paul Wedgwood in Edinburgh back in 2013.

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Foraging Course Provence France 2017

A Special Invitation: Wild Food, Wild Medicine Foraging Course In France 2017

Why not escape for eight days and seven nights to a magical place in the heart of beautiful Provence in France?

Somewhere you can completely relax and experience a plant adventure with a difference.

Foraging for plants as food and medicine can be a deep journey into Soul and a gentle way to ‘get out of our heads and come to our senses’.

A way to experience the world and the plant kingdom through ‘new eyes’.

A wondrous journey into wildness that comes from walking the Green Path.

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Sea Beet Curry Recipe

Going Indian with Sea Beet

I visited my local estuary the other day now devoid of tourists.

The sound of the birds doing their thing that only birds do, the array of deep colours as the estuary falls into its Wintery sleep, the smell of salty air on the breeze and the crashing of the waves in the distance make we feel grateful to be alive.

For me foraging is being fed and nourished not only on what I can fill my belly with, but also on how the very act of gathering and engaging with Land feeds me on what I call a “bone level”.

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The Moken Sea Gypsies of Koh Surin, Thailand

Witnessing the last days of the nomadic Moken sea gypsies

For the last few years I have taught on my plant courses about the Moken sea gypsies, and the extraordinary relationship they have with their environment.

Little did I realise that I would ever get the chance to meet them. I had tried back in the Winter of 2015 while visiting Myanmar formerly Burma, but the restrictions on travel by the military government forbade it unless I went with an extremely high end sailing cruise that included a visit to the Moken village on the Mergui Archipelago.

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Intuitive Herbalism with Nathaniel Hughes

Episode 11: Nathaniel Hughes On Intuitive Herbalism

Over the years I have bumped into master herbalist Nathaniel Hughes at various gatherings around the country. We never seemed to be able to spend much time together as our paths where literally criss-crossing.

That aside we both recognised that we were on a similar page when it came to meeting and working with plants. Nathaniel coming from a herbalist’s perspective, and myself coming from a forager’s perspective.

So finally, after what must be four years of missing each other, I finally caught up with Nathaniel at his beautiful apothecary at Ruskin Mill, just outside Stroud.

We chatted about all manner of things. Everything from…

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2017 Foraging Courses Around The UK

New 2017 foraging course dates… limited availability

I’ve been a bit slack this Autumn.

Not slack in foraging, as I am finishing up some new recipes I will be sharing with you in a few days.

Just slack in posting the dates for my 2017 foraging courses.

I have just put them up, so if you’d like to join me on one of my foraging courses, then I am hitting the road starting in April.

I’ll be visiting London, West Sussex, Oxford, York… as well running courses around my home town of Exeter in Devon.

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Butcher's Broom Coffee Recipe - Ruscus aculeatus

This wild plant’s roasted seed will amaze you…

This weekend I wanted to make a coffee substitute, something that tasted ‘rich’. Something that I could ‘chew’ on.

My shop bought coffee-alternatives include the likes of Whole Earth Nocaf, Barleycup etc.

And when it comes to finding tasty “coffee” substitutes from the wild, I have always struggled with the more common substitutes such as dandelion or chicory.

Don’t get me wrong I really like them, but coffee isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when I sip on them.

No, I wanted something that actually had the deep rich smell of coffee, and that could, at a push, be a coffee analog.

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Lacto Fermented Hawthorn Relish Recipe

Dragon’s Breath Relish : A novel Hawthorn recipe

There is an old Scottish proverb “Mony haws, Mony snows” meaning that an abundance of haws (hawthorn berries) will bring a severe winter.

It will be interesting to see if this old folk belief pans out this year. I have a suspicion it will.

While on a train to London back in late October, I remember noticing how red the hedgerows looked as we sped along, and the impression they made on me.

The redness came from the Hawthorn trees heavily laden with early Autumn fruits. In some areas, the hedgerows where more red than green!

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