Will's Wild Food Diary

 Wild food diary

Fresh, organic and free! Of all things bushcrafty, nothing gets me more excited than a foraging adventure.

From time to time, I update this page with a different wild food that is in season –  gradually building up a seasonal diary of some of the foraging delights available to us.

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Disclaimer: there's lots of good wild stuff to eat, and much of it is fairly easy to identify. Unfortunately, there are also some plants and fungi that can make you seriously ill or worse. This diary is a brief overview intended to inspire and not a substitute for an in-depth field guide and/or skilled teacher. I will endeavour to point out any obvious poisionous look alikes, but ultimately foraging is the individual's responsibility. Unless you are 100 per cent confident you know what something is, leave it alone! Also, please be aware that, as with any food, different people can have different reactions. It is wise to try just a small amount first.

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Category: Lime blossom

  1. Lime time

    Posted on

    Lime blossom branchIt's a fickle forage, sometimes only flowering for a week or two a year, but all this warm weather means the scent of common lime blossom (Tilia europaea) is hanging heavy in the air right now. 

    Lime blossom honey 2I recently dried a batch out to keep for night-time herbal infusions. Lime blossom has a mildly sedative effect and was administered in the field hospitals of World war II for this reason. It is possibly one of the finest herbal teas; gold in colour with a smooth taste and smell. It's particularly popular in France where they call it tilleul and have elevated it almost to an art form.

    A second batch has gone into a honey infusion – possibly my favourite way of preserving flowers. See the elderflower and honeysuckle posts for more details on this super simple approach, but to summarise, a good runny honey is wonderful for drawing out the goodness in any plant, preserving it long into the winter, and adding a potent anitbacterial kick to the proceedings.

    Foraging considerations.

    The lime tree in question is completly unrelated to the lime fruit that you see in the shops. The young spring leaves do have a slightly citrusy taste, which perhaps gives rise to its common name, but I'll write about that another time.

    Lime blossom hatThe small-leaved lime was a dominant tree in the forests that formed in the UK after the last Ice Age, sadly though it is now relatively unusual here. However, common lime is widely planted, especially in parks and city streets, making this a great one for the urban forager – no need to worry about dogs either.