You might bump into Yun.
If you happen to go to a wood in West Wales that is.
Yun is a forager who sources wild food for everyone from top
restaurants across the land to the Queen herself, and Meera and I
were lucky enough to go on a foraging walk with him at The Do Lectures last week.
We didn't find any mushrooms but in a 30 minute walk, Yun taught
us some fascinating stuff.
Stuff like young blackberry leaves taste like blackberries if
you chew them (sort of like Nature's very own Willy Wonka style
That crab apples are great for jam making (as they contain a
natural source of pectin)
And that you should never eat anything if you're not 100%
certain what it is.
Apparently, when it comes to identifying plants, you sometimes
have to wait a whole year for the plant to flower, just to be sure
which variety it is. And it can take years to learn about just one
For example, gorse flowers smell of coconut and if you steep
them in rum, they make a right tasty brew.
But you need to make sure you use English gorse flowers as the
Spanish variety is poisonous.
Nice in rum.
Not so nice in rum.
But hard to spot the difference unless you know what you're
Yun also has a rule that you can't pick a plant if there is a
bee or animal on it already, even if that means you have to walk
another mile or so to find the same plant.
He also told us that the antidote to stinging nettles is not
dock leaf (though they do work a treat if you can find them) but
nettles. If you get stung, just crush some leaves into a ball and
rub the juice on the sting.
All handy stuff to know next time you're off for a stroll in the
woods, get a bit peckish and fall into a ditch of nettles.