Its that time of year again – Autumn is just about here and winter won’t be too far away, meaning that chesnuts will be available again!
Sweet chestnuts are not only very good for you but they are delicious too, and very versatile. You can use them to make soup, flour, and much more. They taste great just roasted on an open fire, but one of my favourite recipes is a chesnut soup.
It may be best to wait until the frost has arrived before picking, so you may be best to pick chestnuts at around November/December time. But if you see any that have already started dropping onto the floor of the forests then it would be a shame for them to go to waste (obviously leave some for the animals though!). Continue reading
Stinging Nettle beer is quite a unique drink because it can be drank after just 7 days from the moment that you collected the nettles – most alcoholic drinks take months or years to ferment. Unlike many other wines and beers, nettle beer doesn’t need time to improve the flavour, it will probably taste best after just over a week.
Nettle beer tastes a little like ginger beer, and is a nice refreshing drink – especially when served cold with ice. Continue reading
We’re often asked when is the best time to go mushroom foraging, and this is also something that we once wondered when we were starting out on the whole foraging-for-wild-foods-adventure. Thankfully for you (and us) it’s quite a simple question to answer!
Mushrooms are all quite similar in the way that they like moist, damp and humid conditions. Typically, they love to appear after a period of heavy rain, during an otherwise quite dry spell. Some seasons are better than others for mushrooms, and normally a good season is when there’s been plenty of rain (although not heavy flooding). If it’s been an Indian summer, with long, dry spells throughout Autumn, then this doesn’t paint a good picture for the mushroom season. If the ground is too dry, then even if there is a little rain it might not be enough to stimulate the mushroom growth. Therefore in an ideal world, or to say it another way, the best time to go out mushrooming is after a period of heavy rain.
That being said, you can’t sit by your window, staring gloomily outside, waiting for it to stop whilst you hold your wooden basket and zip up your anorak. No, you must wait to give the mushrooms a chance to grow, which is surprisingly quick (if you’ve ever grown mushrooms yourself you’ll know what we mean). It can take just a few hours for the mushroom to first start pinning, and then to develop. A few days later and it will have fully matured into adult size, unfurling it’s cap and releasing its spores. This is the ideal time to harvest the mushroom – once it’s had a chance to “reproduce”. Continue reading
Just a quick post to let you know about an interesting Kickstart project that’s currently looking for $20,000 to fund the production of a film dedicated to Fungi.
The film is being produced by Louie Schwartzb, and features renown Mycology expert Paul Stamets. You can learn more about the project at their website www.fantasticfungi.com or you can check out their exciting video below.
So Spring is well and truly here and for those of you who haven’t noticed, wild garlic is currently in abundance amongst woodlands and forests. You need to be quick though – its only around for about 6 weeks and its already been out for about 3, shooting up with its waxy green leaves and distinctive aroma.
Its a real shame that such a tasty and easily collected wild food is only here for such a short period of time, so for us we feel its best to make as many uses of it as possible whilst it is still here.
One other brilliant feature of the wild garlic that we weren’t already aware of is that it seems to keep very well in the fridge, in a sealed food-bag. We’ve collected quite a large handful and it kept fine in the fridge for at least 10 days (although I did manage to find a few snails that had also enjoyed their free holiday and all-you-can-eat buffet).