I have had a life long love of plants and even aged three remembers being fascinated by Ox-eye daisy flowers. Always happiest in the countryside I am keen to impart my love and knowledge of “Nature’s Larder”. Continuing in the seventies armed with such books as “Food for Free” by Richard Mabey I was always fascinated by the folklore of gathering wild foods and medicines. For years Robin and I have collected plants such as Meadowsweet and Elderflower to dry and store in the cupboard as cold remedies for the winter.
I love to show people what they can harvest from the wild to dry and use as natural medicines. Its good to help people re-connect with the old knowledge which would have been second nature in the past, in fact it would have been all that was available to folk. The large pharmaceutical companies are often peddling at high cost what we ourselves could gather and store for free.
There is a pattern to the year. In the Spring there are lots of cleansing herbs to make useful additions to our salads, and tonics. There is an upward surge of energy and we seem mainly concerned with leaves above ground and greens. Miles Irving describes foraging as a “Merry-go-round” with windows of opportunity. These windows however close, say as the woodland canopy becomes clothed with leaves and the ground flora such as Ramsons die back. Equally in Autumn – there are fruits and berries for the taking but wait too long and the wild animals and weather will have taken them.