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Newsletter - February 2021



We are almost to the end of the second month of the year and still it feels like 2021 hasn’t really started yet. The people may be taking a while to get going, but nature carries on regardless.

Those first little glimpses of Spring are appearing even with the recent snow and cold temperatures. The snowdrops are always the first to show. Not edible but a sign that things are starting to poke through.


Snowdrops

Right back at the start of the month I found my first clump of wild garlic / ramsons and its possible to come home with a basket full of three corned leek. Sorrel and cleavers are popping up all over too and for the keen Forager, a good basket of edible leaves can be brought home with you.


It’s vitally important, especially this early that you are extremely careful when picking. New shoots can look different to older plants making identification harder.


Lords and Ladies - Toxic

The toxic “lords and ladies” as well as bluebells and daffodils are all springing up and its vital to use all of your senses to ensure you have the right one.


Three corned leek is an invasive species so it’s one of the few things you really can forage as much as you want. When in flower it’s easier to identify as the small white flowers have a noticeable green stripe. At this time of year you have to rely more on your nose. The smell should be onion and garlic and its unmistakably strong. The leaves form a triangular shape with three points, hence the name. The whole plant is edible, with permission you can dig it up and eat it in its entirety, if you don’t have consent you can snip or snap the leaves off. These can be used in a variety of ways. This month I’ve made a super cheap and easy soup as well as some three corned leek bread. You could use them to make pesto, easy fresh in a salad, mix into mash or add to a stir fry.



Wild garlic or ‘ramsons’ are a little harder to find but a delicious reward awaits you when you do. The plant enjoys similar habitat to bluebells, ancient woodlands with plenty of water. Both Bulwell Hall Park and Broxtowe Country Park are local to me and both have huge patches sprouting up. Each leaf grows individually and never in a cluster. When the leaf is crushed its an overwhelming smell of garlic. The leaves can be used as you would spinach. Eaten raw in salads or added to many of your favourite dishes.


Wild Garlic

Jelly ears and turkey tails are still very much around although I’ve struggled for much else this month mushroom wise whilst out foraging in general.


Jelly ears and Wild Garlic

The monthly mushroom survey at Oak Tree Farm was far more fruitful however and we managed to identify several species including the first scarlet elf cups found on site. We look forward to being able to invite guests to come and join the survey with us soon.


A real mixture of snowy scenes and hints of spring and new life this month down on the Farm.


The big project for this month has been The Big Broxtowe Country Park Clean Up. After despairing over the state of my local park I have rallied locals and together we are clearing the site of rubbish. To date more than 50 bin liners of rubbish have been filled and removed and the work continues. After feeling inspired by a similar feature at Watnall Woods I set to raising funds to install a bird feeding station on our park. In just a few days enough funds were raised and the council have kindly agreed to match it. Building is set to begin in March.



Keeping busy in the strange times has been a challenge! Although I’m not a particularly artistic person I’ve found rock painting to be quite a relaxing and rewarding craft. The rocks have been left around the parks I visit and places I walk and I’ve been thrilled to see people finding them and posting about them.



I managed another stretch of the Robin Hood Way – a linear route that takes in much of Nottingham. This section I travelled from Strelley to Watnall via Giltbrook. Although conditions were treacherous in parts, it was a lovely walk. Easy to forget I was so close to home with scenes to rival any countryside. As restrictions ease I plan to continue my walk as it moves further from my house. It will be a relief when I can hop on and off buses again and stop for a midway cuppa.





Won't be long until walks and talks can resume so keep an eye out! Spaces will be limited.


Have a browse round the shop whilst you are here, some lovely new lines in ready for mother's day from local folks made with love.


Until we meet (which hopefully won't be long) stay safe and stay wildforagers 🍄 🍃 🍒

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