There is a brilliant book by Richard Mabey called Food For Free. It’s an absolute treasure if you like foraging and eating wild food. It inspires me to look under my feet when I am out and about in the woods and there is so much edible stuff around.
Wild garlic is in abundance this time of year. It’s hard to miss large colonies of this tasty herb in the woods. The smell is unmissable as you approach the area and get your nose closer to the ground.
Wild garlic can be used raw or cooked and has a mild taste when raw. I add it to everything I eat. It also makes a delicious pesto.
And sometimes conventional food items can go wild when cooked or consumed outdoors. For example take bananas and chocolate buttons, add to burning logs in a splendid clearing in the woods on a sunny day and voilà – you have a bananachocolatebuttons gone wild and out of control tasty.
This was our breakfast a few days ago when we spent the night bivvying in the local woods. As chocolate melted and bananas got softer the whole thing turned into a gooey sweet delicious mess. It tasted absolutely divine.
Growing food can also turn wild when you have a full-time job and little time or energy to look after the plants. They just grow while rain and sun look after them and what looks like neglect can be also labeled as some kind of fancy unintentional experimental gardening.
For four years I’ve had various plants growing in small containers with a different degree of success. I’ve grown tomatoes, salads, peas, beans…
This year I am planning a proper serious garden with plenty of space to experiment thanks to my diy-savvy husband Ed who put together four beautiful raised beds.
My friend Magda helped me fill one of them with last year’s compost and it’s ready to receive tenants. Those pretty Sungold and Tumbing Tiger tomato plants will be moving in as soon as they are tall and strong to battle through the rainy Irish weather.
We shall see how this year’s experimental gardening turns out and whether I will retain a degree of control over the unruly plants or whether my garden will continue to be a little bit wild.
Happy foraging and experimenting!