Monday, 2 January 2012

Wild food from the park – December

Aha! Finally, it’s December and we only had to find one more wild food source this month to complete our year-long project. This December’s weather is somewhat different to last year’s. On the 22nd of December, I checked with the Twitter blogger ‘Stirling Weather’ who posts tweets on, well, you work it out. They confirmed that the temperature that day in 2011 was a full 20 degrees Celsius warmer than the same date in 2010. Thos extreme winter temperatures in December 2010 were maintained into January 2011, making our wild food searches somewhat problematic. As I reported though, we did manage to find jelly ear fungus that saved the project foundering before it had barely begun. And so, as we reached December, jelly ear fungi once again proved to be a reliable source of winter wild food. We cooked them with some ordinary white field (supermarket) mushrooms and included them in a pasta dish:

A final use for jelly-ear fungus– with commercial white mushrooms in a pasta dish

As we only had a couple of days of frost in December (it was actually remarkably mild), wild sorrel remained available, as did the wall plant ivy-leaved toadflax which we’ve eaten before and which is edible but uninteresting. We included leaves from both plants in a vegetable soup in late December, to bring our year-long wild food project to a successful if reasonably unspectacular finish:

Wild sorrel and ivy-leaved toadflax in vegetable soup

I’ll shortly post a review and discussion of the whole year’s ‘Wild Food from the Park’ experiences.

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