Residents in Whitehill and Bordon took part in a fun and tasty autumn foraging event on Saturday 13 October.
The event, which was led by course tutor and wild food enthusiast Councillor Adam Carew with support from Radian’s Community Involvement Team and Café 1759, saw participants take part in a two hour walk around Bordon Inclosure followed by three wild food cookery demonstrations in Radian’s Café 1759. The day encouraged visitors to get outside and use freely available resources to make good, healthy food.
On the walk, Adam showed attendees how to identify edible plants and fungi while also discussing their medicinal uses and associated folklore. Some of the wild foods found and discussed were:
• Hazel Nuts
• Sweet Chestnuts
• Elder for flowers and berries
• Beech leaves and mast
• Oak – tannic Acorn Coffee
• Birch and Sycamore, which can be tapped for sap in the Spring
• Wild Raspberry
• Red Currant
• Heather, Stinging Nettle, Yarrow and Pineapple Weed - for herbal teas and tisanes
• Artemisia (Worm Wood) and Nipplewort – their bitter juices were used to ween babies
• Bay Bolete and Penny Buns (ceps)
• Honey Fungus
• Ink Caps
• Witches Egg (undeveloped Stinkhorn)
• Orange Peel Fungus – found in acidic grassland
• Sparassis Crispa (Cauliflower Fungus) – found growing at the base of pine trees
Cllr Carew also provided information on how to forage responsibly; not gathering wild food from nature reserves, guides on how to only take as much as you need and how to make sure that you leave enough for the wildlife and for future generations. He also made sure to show visitors how to identify fungi and plants to avoid, including toadstools; Death Cap, Fly Agaric and Panther Cap and plants; Woody and Deadly Nightshade.
Following the walk, Adam then used Café 1759’s kitchen to demonstrate three wild food recipes; Nettle Soup, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Autumn Pudding, which participants were able to sample. Attendees were also treated to a selection of foraged herbal drinks including heather tea, camomile and yarrow tea, homemade crab apple and russet juice and sparkling elderflower.
Adam Carew said: “A huge thanks to Radian and 1759 Café for allowing us to use their wonderful new facilities and especially to Community Officer, Susi Drummond for all her help and acting as my excellent sous chef.
“Although I had already foraged wild food for my cookery demonstrations from elsewhere the Bordon Inclosure, it is a wonderful natural haven for wildlife and makes a fantastic learning resource as well a great place for people to visit and enjoy.
“The feedback from the course was so positive that we will definitely be doing this again and this time during different seasons of the year to take advantage of the wild food.”