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Tips and tricks – finding and harvesting nature's resources
Mon 5-Oct-09
7:08 pm
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Lovage
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In Bosnia some people use young nettles in spring to make a kind of pie with soft cheese and their own version of filo pastry.

Very tasty and IMHO better than the spinach version

Over there  people harvest many things from the wild out of economic necessity and because their tradditions have not yet been broken.

Tue 6-Oct-09
7:04 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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One spring we went to France for a holiday and it was so cold and the spring so late there was not much fresh food in the markets and being short of money decided to use some nettles and see what they were like. Like Kate said they are hairy but they made a nice accompaniment to baked eggs. I just arranged the zapped (microwaved) nettles in a baking dish and made some hollows in the nettles, broke an egg into each hollow and baked.

Fri 9-Oct-09
1:36 pm
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fn
Newmarket
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That sounds brilliant. I read somewhere that only the top leaves should be used as they are more tender.

Fri 9-Oct-09
4:32 pm
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KateUK
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Yes, just the nice fresh soft tips. Old nettle leaves=grim,grim,grim.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Thu 15-Oct-09
9:44 am
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sara
home of the code breakers!!!

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I'm struggling to identify whats edible..... lol I'm a very new to foraging so if anyone could help in identifying what i can eat without being ill i would be very grateful!!

i did manage to find damsons, and yellow plums. Not that i could reach the yellow plums Frown and i have damson vodka in the making at the mo, i have hit a brick wall now as all this lovely looking fruit of nature are unknown to me!!

i think my neighbour has elder which i have taken a pic of when it had more leaves and berries, but all the trees here are all full of fruits but i don't have a clue what they all are Embarassed  seems a waste lol

sara

Thu 15-Oct-09
10:26 am
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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I've had nettle soup and nettles used as a topping on pizza – like spinach again, very nice.  I like the idea of making nettle and feta filo parcels - yum! 

Sara, try this:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Food-Free-Collins-Richard-.....amp;sr=8-1  great little reference guide.  Smile

Thu 15-Oct-09
10:28 am
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Can you get some pictures up ? found some elder thats not quite gone over this morning so will go back after work as i love elderberry wine and the blackberrys are comeing back out again here.

Thu 15-Oct-09
10:31 am
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David B

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sara said:

I'm struggling to identify whats edible..... lol I'm a very new to foraging so if anyone could help in identifying what i can eat without being ill i would be very grateful!!

i did manage to find damsons, and yellow plums. Not that i could reach the yellow plums Frown and i have damson vodka in the making at the mo, i have hit a brick wall now as all this lovely looking fruit of nature are unknown to me!!

i think my neighbour has elder which i have taken a pic of when it had more leaves and berries, but all the trees here are all full of fruits but i don't have a clue what they all are Embarassed  seems a waste lol


You need do be careful - some fruits that look very attractive can cause all sorts of nasties, including death.

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/brybla75.....  for instance.

If you take pics of what you are curious about, then take pics, upload to photobucket and link to the pic here. Someone will know what they are, perhaps even I will, as I've been trying wild food your years, despite not being an expert by any means.

David

Fri 16-Oct-09
1:14 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Edible fruits- most deciduous tree fruits are edible- but worth knowing which ones are worth eating! Berries on evergreen trees are usually to be avoided- e.g. Yew.

Shrubs and plants are more challenging. General rule of thumb: Berries on evergreens tend not to be edible e.g.holly, privet. Berries on annual/perrenial/biennial plants- particularly plants that die back in the autumn e.g. briony,nightshades, tend not to be edible. Berries/hips on anything that looks like a blackberry/rose are edible as this family includes wild blackberries,raspberries etc. Anything that is a member of the apple family is edible, this includes wild pears and plums.

Always be suspicious of any jewel-like red juicy looking berries- they tend to be the ones that aim to seduce you inot eating them regardless of the consequences to your digestive system...Geulder Rose is fine to eat, but others, like briony or yew certainly aren't!

Get a good identification book- the ones with photos are very good, and a good hedgerow cookery book - Rosamond Richardson's 'Hedgerow Cookery'  (penguin 1980, no isbn on my copy!)  has recipes for just about everything you could scavenge and pictures for identification- then you will be able to forage with confidence. Don't panic too much about poisinous plants- some are quite rarely found and others make themselves very obvious as they are easy to identify with a good guide.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Fri 16-Oct-09
4:18 pm
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David B

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While a good identification book is a good idea, I hope people will take pics and post them here, so that we can all learn, identifications can be vewrified, and more than anything to make this splendid board even more of a community.

I have a couple of pics on the phone that need posting, when I get them onto the computer and onto photobucket. Which I will hopefully do over the next few days.

David

Fri 16-Oct-09
6:42 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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I like your idea very much, David, because if people post the photos on here then

(a) there is added safety provided by forumistas giving an opinion (nicer term than forumites or forumists Wink )

(b) we all learn more

There are instructions here on how to publish your photos on this forum

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 16-Oct-09
6:43 pm
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sara
home of the code breakers!!!

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yes me too... i definatly have some of the possible elder. i love this forum!!! so helpful.

sara

Fri 16-Oct-09
7:04 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Thanks for that nice compliment, Sara. We ('er indoors and meself) were saying the very same thing today. A really great bunch of people have joined and contributed here. We were nervous about opening it because many forums never really take off and you can hear the echoes when you visit. But I think that you people have laid a great foundation here in less than a month. Many thanks to everybody. I love popping in to see what's happening. Surprised

Edit: I meant to ask: "home of the code breakers" - fantastic tag line! But why?

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 16-Oct-09
7:10 pm
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sara
home of the code breakers!!!

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haha.. its where i live,  "Bletchley" is the home of the code breakers!!! We have not long moved here and its quoted everywhere! i love the fact that everyone is sooo proud of it.

should have left you guessing for a bit!!

Cool

sara

Fri 19-Mar-10
7:04 pm
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fiano60
hastings

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Well Iv cheated a bit because i have just planted 3 cherry plum trees in the back garden hopefully will be picking in next few years unable to pick in the wild wernt expensive either. My sister and I used to do the final rinse of hairwashing with cooled boiled nettle juice we had very shiny hair have had it as soup and as a veg as well and really enjoyed it but always using the young top leavesOk

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