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

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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Listening to the trees talking

Listening to the Trees Talking

Over the weekend the anarchists came to stay.

Who could imagine that a couple of wild urchins aged two and four years old could cause such chaos in my house.

When I entered the living room arms brimming with plants, it was as if a burglar had deliberately trashed my pad.

My bliss-companion had been doing what she does best… child centred play.Read more…

Edible Burdock Roots

Getting Rooty With Burdock

I walked the valley this morning, watching as the mist slowly dispersed.

I love the quiet of walking in mist, it brings back memories of walking after a snow-storm. Even though I am currently living in a city, I have finally after many months (most of which I have been on the road teaching) settled on my gathering grounds.

With Autumn having taken hold, I feel a sense to gather wild roots.

One of of my favourite wild roots is Burdock. Both Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa) and Lesser Burdock (Arctium minor) make for fantastic eating.

No grunt food here, more delicious gourmet grub! Read more…

Facts About Rosehips

Funky Facts You Need to Know About Rosehips

I hope you are enjoying this Autumn with its beautiful colours, which to me is a delight to see at this time of year. I felt and smelt this seasonal shift long before the signs became visible to the eye.

The wild trees, shrubs and bushes are laden with fruits, and this week I have been haunted by a recipe that I want to make.

I am yet undecided as to whether I will make it with hawthorn berries or rose hips. Without giving it away – I will share it with you once complete – it will however be very spicy and not the usual sweet dishes that hawthorn and rosehips are normally turned into.

When it comes to rose hips, I often get asked questions about these rosy fellow. My answers are below, so I hope they are of use. There are also links to a few of my previous rosehip recipes. Read more…

Peru Botanical Trip

This Forager Has a Lot to Answer For…

You may or may not know that I never intended to teach foraging. Back in 2008 I met a man called Frank Cook.

Frank was extraordinary. Not only as a plant walker, but as a human being too.

Much of what you hear and see regarding plants in the foraging world came from his work. His passion. His fully embodied love of plants, and the relationship we as humans have with them, and they with us.

Frank would travel the world meeting the plants and healers of numerous cultures.

He met them in Africa, Europe, South America, India and Nepal, and by the time of his death in 2009 it was estimated that he had met 70% of the plant genera of this planet. I have to tell you that is extraordinary!

He fed minds and inspired lives, and it was he who kicked me out the door and encouraged me to start teaching foraging. Back then you could count on one hand the number of foraging teachers.Read more…

Guelder Rose Jelly Recipe

This Divine Wild Jelly Is An Absolute Must

Yesterday I told you about Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus), and my desire to make it into a jelly.

Well last night I finished the recipe.

As the jars where cooling down, I wondered whether I would simply end up with a syrup rather than a jelly.

Then this morning when I pottered into the kitchen, it was to my delight that said jelly had not only set, but it was also a delightful pinkish colour.Read more…