Archive for August 2016

If You Go Down To The Woods Today, You'll Forage a Nice Surprise - June Workshop

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 § 0

There are many things worse to do on a hot summer’s eve, than walk around a peaceful lake and parkland, drinking wine and eating home-made foods. Better still is when you are waking around being shown where to forage the items to make your own version of the foods you are making!

Junes’ foraging workshop saw Claire Hanley-Opik taking our lovely ladies for a stroll around Roundhay Park while teaching us all about the free foods all around us with a handy hand out recipe guide to help us on our way. The below is by no way, a comprehensive list of what we saw as the choices were indeed fine.

A few paces into the park sees you greeted by cherry, walnut and lime trees (not the green citrus, the UK flowering tree from which cordials can be made). 

A little way down the hill to the first area of damp woodlands and we were greeted by the smell of garlic (which I had always thought was the gas from damp ground and composting leaves) which alerted our workshop leader to a veritable carpet of flowering wild garlic spreading out in a damp tree lined valley. Claire taught the ladies how to spot it, check it and positively identify it, and then to our delight, dished out the end product with samples of Wild Garlic Pesto, whizzed up earlier, tasty tasty!

She was also able to identify for us mustard garlic herb, hiding behind some nettles with its dainty leaves and white flowers..which is the less overpowering salad add in for those wanting just a hint of garlic, alongside a few items that were edible but were “an acquired taste” which it turns out, means it tastes dreadful and may be one for the true survivalists. Thus I chose not to remember that they could be eaten less I try again!

A short walk further and we reached the lake, which has overgrown areas on the teahouse side filled with blackberry bushes, sorrel and more surprisingly as Claire pointed out, wild raspberry canes….and yes I did manage to get back and get some when they came into season!! Further around the lake and there was a stop and gather moment on the wild garlic front while sampling some lovely home-made blackberry wine, just in case you get fed up with pies, jam and strudels! Very tasty.

The walk ended with a traditional classic at a Sloe berry bush, giving the ladies a chance  on how to spot this classic wild fruiter, ready to start raiding their local trees when they fruit in autumn to make that classic, Sloe Gin!

All in all a fabulous fivers worth of foraging food frolics! Claire also has a blog and has written about this outing, find out more here: