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 kind of seasonal diary to some of the foraging delights available to us.

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Disclaimer: There's loads of good stuff to eat out there and much of it is fairly easy to identify. Unfortunatly, 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 indepth 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 percent confident you know what something is then leave it alone! Please also be aware that, as with any food, different people can have different reactions. It is wise to try just a small amount first.

Marjoram magic

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Wild Marjoram 2
One of the things I love about foraging is the chance to visit the same places year upon year and catch up with the plants like they are old friends. One such example, is the wild marjoram alongside a track that leads to my favourite wild camping spot on the Dorset coast.

Over the last few years I’ve added it to various beach cooking creations including a delicious limpet stew on a survival quest last year. On a recent trip though I decided toWild marjoram try a variation on a River cottage marjoram scone recipe. I used flour and oats half and half, the last remenants of wild garlic stalks from the valley behind the beach, olive oil and a splash of sea water (the wild equivilant of a ‘pinch’ of salt). I cooked them slowly over the fire and then dipped them in more olive oil before devouring them with an appetite that only outside living can arouse.

Wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare) works in just about any dish but has a particular penchant for those Mediterranean staples of tomatoes, onions and garlic. It also dries very well, I strip off both the leaves and flower for adding to hearty soups and stews right through the winter.

Foraging considerations.

Wild marjoram can be found between early summer and early autumn and seems to have a particular liking for old chalkland. If you’re a keen gardener you probably won’t have any difficulty recognizing this one with it’s pointed oval leaves and pink flower on a long stem- the cultivated marjorams are very similar in appearance.

Smell is another useful ID point and, if you are familiar with it from cooking, it's sometimes known as oregano, that can also be enough. The aromatic smell comes from the rich volatile oils and if you rub a flower between your fingers you’ll notice a slightly sticky residue.

Marjoram driedAnd, of course, one of the best characteristics of this plant is it is a perennial grower- find your spot and it should look after you for years to come. 

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