Elderberries, brambles, crab apples, hazelnuts and chanterelles are just some of the delicious wild finds of early autumn. The first Foraging Fortnight, supported mainly by EU LEADER funding, coincides with this season of abundance – it runs from 31st August until 15th September across five areas in Scotland. Becky Shaw, our Rural Development Officer, tells us more…
The “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” of John Yeats’ ‘Ode to Autumn’ will soon be here, bringing a rich natural harvest of fruit, nuts and fungi.
This celebration of food from nature is a great chance to explore the interesting tastes and flavours of wild food as well as spend some time outdoors, getting to know your local patch better.
In Forth Valley and Lomond, Fife, Lanarkshire, Moray and Orkney, there is a varied and wide-ranging programme of events to encourage people to find out more about responsible and safe foraging. Long-table dinners, tasting menus, cookery sessions and wild beer workshops are among the ways you can enjoy the local flavours of the season during Foraging Fortnight.
The first and golden rule of foraging safely is being 100% certain of the identification of the plant or fungus you are planning to eat. Coastal and hedgerow foraging walks, fungi forays and workshops on medicinal herbs are all on offer throughout Foraging Fortnight to help give you confidence in knowing what is good and safe to eat and knowing how to forage in a responsible way that minimises any impact on nature.
The walks and talks will focus on the abundant and common seasonal plants, fungi and seaweeds that are all around us. Foraging Fortnight events will hear from chefs, herbalists, brewers, foragers and food producers who’re exploring this local, seasonal and regionally distinctive food to create a ‘taste of place’.
A highlight of the last weekend of Foraging Fortnight is the Scottish Wild Food Festival, taking place at Cardross Estate, Port of Mentieth. The busy programme will include foraging workshops, wild walks, plant folklore, tasters and cookery demos, family activities and long-table dining. Twelve local businesses, which are taking part in an international project to develop foraging skills and knowledge for use in their own enterprises, will lead some of the workshops, foraging walks and food experiences. It’s a day not to be missed!
See the Foraging Fortnight website for further information about all the events.