Stinging Nettle Beer

Stinging Nettle beer

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.

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When is the best time to go mushroom foraging

Best time for mushroom picking

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”.

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Fantastic Fungi film project on KickStarter

Fantastic Fungi video

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 or you can check out their exciting video below.

Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe

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).

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Making Soda Bread

Soda bread has to be one of my favourite types of bread to bake, due to the flavour and lack of time taken to make it from scratch. Sometimes if you’ve had a long day (presumably out foraging) and want to knock up a nice loaf of bread, without having to wait hours and hours for it to rise and proove, then soda bread is a really simple and effective way to make a bread that can accompany most meals.

The reason it is so quick to bake is due to the use of baking soda, and not yeast. You also don’t really need to knead the bread, simply mix the ingredients together in a bowl, add the liquid, shape into rounds and get into the oven.

Another nice thing about making soda bread is that you can use either milk, yoghurt, buttermilk or water, or a mixture of the 4. Its interesting to try it with different liquids and see how the end results change. It can be quite a healthy bread to make too, if you try it with a wholemeal flour instead of plain. Again its good to experiment here and see what works best for you, or using whatever you’ve got left in your cupboards (unfortunately there’s little here that you can forage for, but we’ll add more wild food recipes when we can!)

Soda bread recipe

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