What could be better than walking to a West Wales beach on a fine and sunny Sunday? Not much! – but if the walk includes foraging for lunch under the watchful eye of an experienced guide and heading back to the woods to cook over a campfire then that really is a special Sunday out.
Our recent foraging walk was with Jade Mellor of Wild Pickings. Jade is a professional forager who collects wild foods from the beautiful hedgerows, woodlands and coast of West Wales. The philosophy is always to pick with care and sensitivity, leaving plenty for the birds and being careful not to damage the delicate environment in which wild foods grow.
Setting off from the woodland camp, baskets in hand, you walk to gather and taste an amazing selection of leaves, shoots and roots. Nettle tops are gathered (carefully!) with dandelion leaves, navelwort, wild garlic and sorrel.
Head to the beach under a stunning blue sky, and try some dry and salty dulse (seaweed). Jade explains the traditional uses of wild plants for food and medicine and guides you on what to look for and how to forage safely with a few cautionary tales!
Back at the woodland kitchen you make a salad with your foraged leaves and cook amazing pasties filled with cooked nettle tops, wild garlic and cheese on the campfire. Sunday lunch will never be the same again! Not only delicious food in good company but a wonderful introduction to the ‘natures pantry’ which is all around us if only we know where to look and what to look for.