…… all the Sunday supplements are going nuts for foraging …. foraging and walking have been fantastic therapy in post relationship breakdown but as a single girly wandering the countryside I thought I would share some of the things I have learned…..
buy a good wildlife flora/fauna guide and keep it in the toilet for thumbing through…. stuff will stick in your head and its really satisfying to be out and recognise wildflowers in the summer… and later on to be able to safely forage
take a digital camera and spare batteries…. & wear a ring … not for warding off the unwanted attentions of men…. it sounds funny but if you take a picture with a ring in it on your hand you can get a good idea of scale of plants for later id . You can use sites like Flickr to post pictures of your find or ask for help identifying
forage in bright red trench coat even when wandering foolishly across fields and hunting woods I can pull the lost girly angle and avoid being shot…and that bulls going for red items in my experience not true….in summer don’t be tempted not to cover up you will burn on a long walk even in shady woods
wear sunglasses as eye protection from thorns and brambles sloe spikes and branches swung in your face…
carry a small backpack with several plastic bags inside it …. you may not want to mix fungi with berries and also some berries are a little squidey and may leak through backpacks onto you clothes… if you find tonnes of stuff you can tie the bags onto the backpack but its awful lugging a huge empty backpack round with you
always carry a disposable coffee cup or two great for holding fragile mushrooms or berries in the back pack … if they have lids even better …..it also good recycling when the rail companies force you to use their cups on train rather than refilling the environmentally friendly insulated mug you present them with ….
always say hello to people and chat to them , people love showing their kids what you are doing and you can learn a lot from other people mostly people apologising for their dogs bothering you ( bothering me huh I am usually busy running dogs ears through my hands) … its kind of the one time as a single girl it feels safe to chat with people in public…
carry a large bottle of water and drink plenty…. and don’t be embarassed about peeing behind a large tree its better to be caught with your pants down than pass out in the woods from dehydration..also a seed mix currently shown here
maps I don’t know I keep trying but they worry me more than they help … I panic I am not on the right route and look at the map more than the path but I keep trying…I like to get a general idea before hand and go for it.
ask directions ( see no make macho not asking directions when lost ) …… that said I can’t follow directions but have no fear asking for them … its dyslexia I genuinely don’t know my right from my left.
take a book if you find a good spot sit and have a read in the sunshine…life is too short to rush through …
share with your freinds and family the internet provide wealth of hints and tips just a google away.
cook with your finds some of my wild food recipes http://girlinterruptedeating.wordpress.com/category/wild-food/
finally don’t limit your foraging to the countryside I live right in the town and have happily picked plenty in the city centre blackberries , elderberries, rosehips the odd bracket fungus