It’s “food for free” is the cry of foragers who come home with baskets for supper or, in cases like samphire from the banks of the Severn, delights to be sold for good money to smart restaurants.
Foraging is the subject of this Friday’s talk, “The perils and pleasures of foraging for food”, to Monmouth Field and History Society at 7pm at The Priory. Guests are welcome to attend (£5).
While there is an abundance of treats to be found and harvested from hedgerow, meadow and forest to make delicious meals and sometimes some income, there are also dangers, and not just from the law of trespass.
The speaker, retired NHS surgeon David Evans, picked up bushcraft survival techniques as a Reservist in the Army. He also developed an interest in what is called ethno-botany - that is, learning how to use the knowledge and customs of primitive societies to understand the uses of local flora in everything from foods and clothing to medicines. Dr Evans’ foraging interest, going back more than 25 years, has emerged from all these elements.
While there is much pleasure to be had from foraging it cannot be denied that the terror of poisoning puts many off even thinking of foraging and makes them far happier reaching for a tin or a packet of something flown in thousands of miles lest they end up in hospital or worse. Dr Evans will address head-on the potentially fatal matter of misidentification.
For those keen to follow in his foraging footsteps he will also discuss relevant publications and suggest courses to get you going. Cooking will also get a look in, and he will also touch on the ethical and legal aspects as well as foraging etiquette.