There are over 20,000 species of plants that have been recorded as edible, yet in our current society you'll be lucky to find more than 25 of them in your local supermarket!
Edible weeds are a great addition to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. They are local, sustainable, and free so they help cut your food bill. Edible wild plants contain no packaging & no chemicals.
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Each year I literally swoon as I cup the cherry blossom flowers in my hand gazing at their mysterious beauty set against cloudless blue sky. And each year I promise myself to make a preserved cherry blossom recipe. Each year until this one I miss the window of opportunity.
In Japan, the tradition of “Hanami” which literally translates as “flower viewing” is a practice that dates back to the sixth century Heian period. Cherry blossoms in Japan are called “Sakura”, and are a symbol of the transient nature of life, due to their short flowering time. They represent a life that is beautiful, but also temporary and impermanent.
So as not to miss the year’s flowering season I scoured my patches trying to find some flowers that were still only in bud. For the preserved cherry blossom recipe you need to gather buds that are just starting to open, you can, should you to wish pick some of the fully opened flowers, but best to try and get just the buds. You’ll also need to gather a few of the very young leaves as they are just developing. Read more…
In this interview Emma Kidd, author of First Steps To Seeing: A Path Towards Living Attentively discusses practical ways to deepen your relationship with plants, by enhancing your ability to ‘see’ plants more fully, in a way that no mainstream botany class will ever teach you.
As Emma says: “On our way to work we may pass trees or other plants but not notice them – the changes of the trees through the seasons? We miss so much, not only individually but as a society too, by simply not paying attention.
By using the analogy of ‘seeing’, Emma discusses how to really and actively see what is in front of us rather than merely accept the shortcuts that our brain gives us to categorise and rationalise what is passing us by.
When it comes to being able to ‘see’ plants, these exercises and methods allow us to enter into ‘deep intimacy’ with plants, and reveals some surprising discoveries, as well as revealing just how blind we actually are. As the philosopher GI Gurdjieff was fond of reminding us, “as humans we live our lives in a near permanent state of hypnotic sleep”. Read more…
The oldest recorded recipe in Britain according to the Centre for Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff is one for nettle pudding, consisting of not surprisingly nettle with barley. They claim it to be 8,000 years old!
Taking this for inspiration I decided to create a nettle risotto using barley instead of rice, to which I added ramsons (wild garlic), and kelp seaweed. Read more…
Gruel down the centuries gets a bad rap, courtesy of super snobs with their pretentious pontificating on what deems ‘good taste’. The phrase ‘food fascists’ comes to mind.
I mean let’s face it, oysters used to be seen as food for the poor back in the 1800s, spat on by those who in their delusion think they are our masters and betters when it comes to ‘ taste & culture’. Read more…