Islay Summit (I): The Foragers

As a few people might have realized I was invited this year (to my utmost surprise and joy) to participate in the Forager’s Summit on the Hebridean island of Islay, on the West Coast of Scotland. For five days we explored the faery coasts of the island, basing ourselves at Academy House at the Bruichladdich…

Gleaning for Resilience: A Lesson in Mermaid Economics

Here in Berlin-Brandenburg I tend to judge the start of the foraging season proper by the arrival of the first tender shoots of our regionally-abundant wild leeks. Walking several new foraging routes this week it was clear that the time has come again,¬†and as at the beginning of every new foraging year, I find myself…

Mid-April Update: Morels True and False

  A quick update to say that the morels have decided to stay for another week in Berlin-Brandenburg, giving me the chance to bring home this mixed quarry of black and ‘yellow’ morels (Morchella elata & M. esculenta). The weather has been alternately warm and sunny, then windy and rainy, which might just have provided…

Foraging Walks March/April

For me, the emblem of spring is pretty much summed up by a blade of wild garlic spearing up through the dead beech leaves. Join me on a foraging walk in March/April, discover the fresh wild edibles of the new spring. Email grunewaldforaging@gmail.com and make a date.

Mushrooming: a Mycological game of “Whac-a-Mole”

This year the mushroom hauls have come in a perfectly regular sequence of hit-miss-hit-miss, and I have thought a lot about just how much it is possible to ‘know’ a particular spot’s capacity for pushing up the mother lode. My first serious forage of the year, at the end of August, was supposed to be…

Mesolithic Kicks – Birch Tar

If you pursue the art of foraging for any amount of time, sooner or later you begin to unearth some of the lost techniques that people used (and still use) to process, prepare and preserve wild food. Inherently linked with these techniques are those used to produce all the non-edible daily things we prefer not…

Pyramus and Thisbe

One thing about foraging is that, the longer you have spent practising it, the more chance there is of a ramble, a bike-ride, or even a lake swim to provide the means and the inspiration for a wild food experiment. July is a month laden with fruit, but this year, as the weather has been…

Foraging in the Snow-laden Hedgerow

The beginning of December and it’s minus 6 degrees. It’s normally the quietest time of the year for foraging; the mainstay of the mushrooms has finally vanished, the fresh shoots and leaves of spring feel a long way off indeed. Thoughts of summery wild beers and showers of autumnal nuts are past fancies. But even…

Trail Food from the Golden Age of Man (belated article)

When it comes to edible fruits and berries not crowned with the epithet ‘choice’, I often get mixed results: some rightly deserve the dismissal with which they are regarded, and it is plain to see the reason why they have not been cultivated or cherished in culture. Other times, it is totally unclear to me…