#wildfoodadventures

Our Guide to
Foraging & Wild Food

Empowering people with the knowledge they need to live a wilder, healthier, happier life in tune with nature – we love to source ingredients from the natural larder with as little impact on the environment as possible.

 

When done carefully and sustainably, foraging is a great way of connecting with our natural environment and making the most of the ingredients on our doorstep. You can’t get more local than your nearest hedgerow!

 

We also focus strongly on wild game, an underrated, healthy, ethical and environmentally friendly food that we carefully and responsibly source from local estates with respect to the game seasons.

Jelly Ear / Wood Ear Fungus

Brown and velvety on the outside, shiny and wrinkled on the inside – very much resembling a wibbly wobbly ear.  Found all year round growing on decaying branches, it’s the winter months that this fungus is most prolific.

Gorse

Common gorse is a large, evergreen shrub and a member of the pea family. Providing a glorious pop of colour throughout the darkest winter months with it’s beaming yellow flowers, we love to make the most of their coconut-y aroma. It’s sharp needle-like leaves mean it’s often overlooked and considered a mighty weed  – however it reaps delicious, yet occasionally painful rewards!

Sloes

Blackthorn is a shrub that is widely abundant amongst our hedgerows here in the UK. It also bears a very unique berry, small, beautiful and blue, this guide is all about foraging for Sloes. 

Rose Hips

These ruby jewels are decorated across hedgerows and woodland edges. Many consider this a superfood – packed with nutrients and medicinal properties. Rosehips have no toxic look-alikes, perfect for the beginner forager. If you know where you’ve seen a rose bush earlier in the season, you’ll have no problem picking rosehips.

Crab Apples

These small sized apples can be found on trees nestled amongst hedgerows, fields, woodlands, and gardens during the autumn season. While they are extremely sour when eaten raw, they can be transformed into a variety of tasty treats! 

Yarrow

Often overlooked, foraging for Yarrow is one of the most diverse and aesthetic plants you can come across in your adventures. Displaying an array of white and pink flowers to catch the eye and wispy leaves to match, its no wonder why yarrow looks so good in gardens as they do in hedgerows. 

Ground Ivy

An evergreen, Ground Ivy’s delicate vines and beautiful flowers are often overlooked. It’s a shining star on our list of wild ingredients here at The Salt Box, used pretty much all throughout the year!

Hawthorn

Foraging for hawthorn is a forager’s favourite, with the hawthorn a very common native British trees. One of the best things about this plant is that the leaves, blossoms and fruits can be used from the Spring through to the Winter.

Rowan

Rowan Berries (commonly known as mountain ash) is a tree that you’ve probably seen flourishing throughout the late summer/autumn, with a fantastic display of red berries. Taking advantage of the berry’s natural bitterness, it’s often used to make syrups for cocktails or counterbalanced in something sweet, such as our Wild Fruit Pastille Recipe. 

Sorrel

Sorrel can be found virtually anywhere in the UK in open grassland such as meadows, fields, parks, lawns and sometimes open woodland. Sorrel leaves have a distinctive lemony or citrussy tang, which many describe to be like a tart apple peel. 

Foraging on our Courses

All of our Cookery Courses include a short foraging walk as part of the day, introducing you to just a handful of commonly found wild ingredients. As well as covering how to keep foraging safe and sustainable – the focus is always on how you can use these ingredients in your feasts.

Join us every other Friday where we add our latest seasonal wild ingredient to our directory #ForageFriday

Our Foraging Tips

Ask permission. 

Essential if you’re picking on private land. As with everything, respect is key and goes a long way.

 

If in doubt, leave it out. 

Why rush? Nature isn’t going anywhere! Take time to ensure you safely identify your finds.

 

One step at a time.

No one becomes an expert overnight. Build up your identification skills and your confidence will grow. 

 

Enjoy the process.

Foraging is not only about what you pick but the experience – Immerse yourself in nature and appreciate the little things. The fresh air, birds chirping, a light breeze or the feel of soil beneath your feet

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Celebrate locality.

With an abundance of forage at your doorstep, why not start local?

 

The 10% rule.

Only take what you need (or 10% of what is available). This not only means that you leave plenty for other foragers, but also local wildlife. We want to enjoy our ecosystem not damage it. 

 

Leave room for regrowth.

Never uproot a plant so that it is always able to regrow after you have foraged from it.

 

Wash before consumption.

Always give your foraging finds a good wash before consuming, especially when picking on busy routes/path.

 

Explore our recommended Foraging books.