Category: Foraging

Elder Flower

Elder: Flower Sambucas nigra: flos Key features: Deciduous bush with opposite leaves and clusters of flowers/berries. Pithy stems. The elder can grow up to 20 feet in height and often resembles a tree more than a deciduous shrub. It is a member of the viburnum family, and can be found in roadside and field hedgerows, […]

Elder berry

Sambucus nigra As summer comes to an end the hanging clusters of tiny elderberries change from green, to dark purple, to black when fully ripe. Each elderberry contains one to three seeds, which contain poisonous cyanogenic glycosides that can be deactivated by cooking. If you eat too many raw berries, which taste bitter-sweet, you will […]

Blackberry

Rubus fruticosus, A.K.A.: Bramble If you regularly walk past blackberry bushes, when the berries are ripe, without picking any you are definitely missing out on one of Nature’s great bounties. Blackberries are an excellent source of Vitamins C and K and manganese, they are rich in bioflavonoids and contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. Blackberries […]

Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica Most people know nettle by its sting. Nearby any clump of nettles you will usually find yellow dock growing. As children we would make a spit poultice of a dock leaf and rub it on the affected area for prompt relief. A plantain leaf works just as efficiently – if not more. Folklore […]

Sea Spaghetti

Himanthalia elongata Sea spaghetti has a mild sweet taste. It cooks up in minutes, tastes great and makes a healthy substitute for conventional pasta. Chop and add to salads, stir-fries, soups and stews, or serve it in place of a green vegetable. If you like a savoury chew try eating it raw, fresh or dried. […]

Dandelion Flower Oil

External use: Dandelion flower oil makes a nice massage oil for sore or tired muscles. You could add a few drops of essential oil, such as geranium or rosemary,  for added healing benefits. It also makes a soothing emollient for tired eyes or to nourish dry skin. You can use the oil as a base […]

Wild Rosehip Vinegar

Dog Rose: Rosa canina You can harvest rosehips from late summer through early Winter. Look for the bright red, oval-shaped hips of the wild dog rose. The fresh hips are surprisingly high in Vitamin C – much of which is lost in the drying process. Try making this rosehip infused apple cider vinegar for a […]

Chickweed

Stellaria media Chickweed is available most of the year but I love to gather it in early Spring. It is a tiny sprawling plant with white star-like flowers and easily overlooked. I use it in salads, juice it and sometimes steam it. It makes a good pesto as it has a slightly salty taste. Try […]

Ramsoms: Wild Garlic

Allium ursinum Wild garlic, also known as ramsoms or creamh in Irish, (Allium ursinum) are the most common variety of wild garlic found in Ireland. You will find them in woodland areas, alongside streams and wet ditches in early Spring. They have similar properties to cultivated garlic, they benefit the heart and blood circulation, are […]