Category Archives: wild food

Nettle soup

I tried out a new recipe that I found for nettle soup last night, Rhys and mother both like it but I’m not so sure, I think I will like it with a little tweaking.

Pick half a small bucket of nettles, wash them and pick out any bits of grass or hay that have come along for the ride and any leaves that don’t look so nice. Chop large onion and fry in some butter with black pepper until soft(-ish), add the nettles and cook until wilted down. Add vegetable stock and bring to the boil then put through a wizzer.

Done!

The recipe said to add cream, which I didn’t as we didn’t have any, and I think next time I’m going to try adding a load of garlic with the onion and see if I like it better that way.

Free Seeds

I started ordering some more seeds for next year today, lots of different colours of carrot. Some red, two different purples, yellow and some orange (mini and giant.)  I’ve tried to order non-F1seeds, the mini and giant are, so as I can have ago at saving some seed from them, and the yellow coloured ones are an heirloom verity. I’m a member of an online survey site, were you fill in questionaires, mostly about shopping, and you collect points which can be exchanged for lots of different things including PayPal credit. 

I’m really pleased with myself, I picked out the seeds I wanted a while ago and have been saving up my points until I had enough for the seeds I wanted. It feels good and I can’t wait until the seeds arrive.

The new T&M catalogue came the other day, I’ve add up how much all the seed potatoes that I want and it’s £50 worth, ouch. There are two heritage/heirloom collection that I want, I want all the different types potatoes but both collection add up to 160 tubers so I have posted a ‘potato share’ in the LETS newsletter and the Freecycle café and have had a fair few responses from people interested. One of them is someone from a community garden who have offered to swap for some of the heritage seeds that they have saved.  

One of the other kinds that I want is a new verity called Mimi. It is a first early and are “unique cherry-sized, red-skinned salad. Huge numbers. Delicious tasting. Dwarf foliage and ideal for growing in containers.”

It started to feel like winter today, it was a nice day and the sun was out but it was cold, and still is. I think there might be a frost tonight. I’ve said for a couple of days running that I think we need to light the wood burner but it really had to be done tonight. Tomorrow I’m off and one of my jobs is going to have to be getting a new chain for the chainsaw. Normally we use a handsaw for cutting up all the wood for the wood burners, it’s always been everyone’s job to saw a box full of wood each day in the winter when we were growing up but this year we’re all almost grown-up, not that I feel at all grown-up, and there just isn’t the time in the day anymore.

We’re getting ready for Apple Day at work, it’s in two weekends time, and today I went out collecting apples (from Freecycle) to put through the press and it was really nice. I wish we had apple trees, the only ‘useful’ tree we have is a sweet chestnut tree. When me and mother went to get Kniteshade on Sunday the motorway was lined with apple trees covered in fruit, all going to waste. My dad has a theory that the reason motorways and railway lines almost always have fruit trees along them is because of people throwing their cores out of the windows.

Nettle Cordial

I have finally been paid! And even better than that I’ve been paid by both jobs. Normally I get paid by cheque from one job and that has cleared, and mostly been spent, by the time my pay from my other job comes into the bank but this month has been messed up because of the bank holiday.

It was so nice to finally be able to do things like stock up on animal feed and human feed as well. As I’d just been paid I went into the whole food shop as well, to stock up on silly little things that are nice to have but aren’t really needed. This time I found some ‘wild nettle cordial’, it’s good and from the ingredients looks really easy to make so I think I will have a go at it. It should work with just an elder flower cordial recipe with nettles instead of elder.

Potatoes and mushrooms

It’s my day off today, I got up this morning and got distracted by the vegetable garden on the way down to the goats (in the end Rhys went and feed them instead) one of the boxes that’s had potatoes growing in it was looking very empty of plant so I pull at one of the old steams and up came a load of potatoes! I then of course had to sit there, digging around on the top of the box, with my bare hands as there just wasn’t time to go and get something else to use of course, fishing out potatoes. They look really good.

The box that they came from was meant to be Christmas potatoes for last year but they didn’t come through until the spring. We’ve never really grown potatoes before, as we eat LOADS of them we were never going to grow enough to last use but next year I have a plan……

Me and mother also found some ‘penny bun’ mushrooms just outside the garden

Elderflower Cordial

For maybe the last three years or so encounters with elderflowers have been very unpleasant, just the smell of the flowers courses my eyes to feel all puffy and like someone has punched me very hard in both of them. Because of this I’ve avoided them like the pledge until the flowers are over and they become hedgerow picks for the goats again.

A few weeks ago one of the volunteers at work bought in some elderflower cordial (shop bought) it’s really nice and there was no nasty reaction.

So I tried making some, it had to be done, our own supply of cordial, practically free with no nastys in, and some people seem to be able to make enough to last all year round. I found a recipe on the net, halfed the sugar amount (1 and a half bags for 2 and a half pints of cordial seems way to much), spent two days feeling like I’d be beaten round the head and it tastes like sugar water with a bit of lemon in.

In season this week

I’ve just joined the ‘Eat the Seasons’ newsletter and this week in seasons food are:

Rasberries, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, french beans, garlic, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries.

There are LOADS of wild rasberries in the woods near us but there still very green, but there is a lot of fruit there.

Cuttlefish

Since I stopped buying loads of stuff I didn’t really need from ebay I never really get any interesting post anymore, so it was extra nice this morning to get a little package full of cuttlefish fresh from the beach for the quail.

Thank you to TheGirlsMum from the River Cottage Forum who sent them to me!

Never a simple job

A while ago Muma found some information about the feed value of gorse, and from talking to the local sheep-badgers (people who run free-roaming sheep in the area) it use to be used a lot in the area. The Badgers would collected it and then put it through a stredder and use it as feed for the sheep who will only eat the flowers if just left to it.

We’ve been meaning to try it out with the goats for a while, as the whole area is covered in it, and this weekend we finally got round to it. Me and Rhys (well Rhys really, but under orders from me) dug out the shredder and checked that it was in working order. On Saturday me and Muma collected a couple of small sacks on the way back from dropping Rhys off for a gig, got the shedder out and… the blades weren’t going round.

I hate it when things don’t work, it just makes what should be such simple jobs take so much more time and effort than they should be. In the end the goats got feed the gorse like it was, and they ate most of it ok.

Sunday: Rhys fixed the shredder, which had stringy branchs wrapped round the blades, went and collected more gorse and shredded it (only stopping once to have the blades un-wrapped again.)

The goats seemed to like it too.

Hedgerow pickings

We haven’t really got anything in the garden to eat now, so on Sunday we went and found what we could in the lanes and hedgerows:

 

Wild Garlic

 

Jack in the Hedge

 And Chard from the garden. We also collected nettles for dying some wool.