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.

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 experiment 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 (for the 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 it has a particular penchant for those mediterranean staples of tomatoe, onion and garlic. It also dries very well, I strip off both the leaves and flowers, 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. The cultivated marjorams are very similar in appearance to their wild relation, so If you’re a keen gardener you probably will not have any difficulty recognizing this one, with it’s pointed oval leaves and pink flowers on a long stem.

Smell is another useful ID point if you are familiar with it from cooking (it's sometimes known as oregano). 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.

And 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. Marjoram dried

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