Return to your wild self. Learn about wild food, plant medicine, outdoor cooking, preserving, ancient diet and the old ways of living. Join me for foraging walks to identify seaweeds, hedgerow plants and edible mushrooms.


The Sweet Smell of Danger

All scents, perfumes and fragrances contain aroma chemicals. This is what makes them smell nice. Some are natural, some are manufactured as nature-identical and some are created in the lab. However, for many people, the concentrations in which they are used cause fragrance allergies which range in effect from mildly blocked sinuses to a full…

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Do plants talk? It’s called biosemiosis

Can plants talk? This century we’re learning that bacteria can talk and count – it’s called quorum sensing – and they know when there are enough of them to mount a successful attack. Birds like the Clark’s nutcracker can harvest well over 100,000 seeds each, plant them in separate locations (3 to 5 seeds at…

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Wild hen of the woods

Passing an old oak tree today looking in the grass for pink purslane, the old giant whispered to me as I walked past. As she did the thought entered my head “I bet there are hen of the woods around here.” I looked over my shoulder and what did I see, nestling in autumn leaves…

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Lament for the Loss of Wild Foods

Wild Fact of the Day: Once humankind used 7000 species of plant and 1069 species of fungi as foods.  A single community averaged 120 wild species in their daily diet providing a massive range of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc)  and phytochemicals, such as plant-made serotonin that keeps us all happy. Each country studied records a…

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Hairy bittercress

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). It’s the essential seasonal ingredient for winter soups, pestos, salads & garnishes providing a fresh, and tasty source of vitamins and minerals right through the winter.  It can be eaten raw and tastes of cress – remember those terracotta cress pigs from your school days? So excellent in a mashed up…

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Making a wild fungi broth

The season of soups is starting as the first frosty mornings herald the transition of autumn to winter. Samhain is around the corner. Today I made a cauliflower fungus broth with nettle seed nokedli.  Whether you celebrate Halloween or All Souls, around you the leaves are falling and the plant world dying down again –…

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List of Japanese mushroom names

I’ve always been intrigued by the poetry of Japanese names for mushrooms. beyond the top five edibles I couldn’t find a detailed list in English. Here is my list of Japanese names for mushrooms focusing mainly on edible mushrooms and those also found in Scotland Edible mushrooms Maitake Hen of the woods Grifola frondosa Maitake…

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New Forest fungi picking ban by the Forestry Commission

Aside from the lurid media “Aliens Ate My Fungi” headlines, the alleged criminal gangs sweeping the forests, the unsubstantiated evils of fungi picking on conservation, the misreported fungi poisoning statistics and the thinly disguised racism against Eastern European families, there are some concerns that have emerged that are actually not really about the fungi at…

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foraging in Scotland

Why foraging? A trend or an ancient connection to nature…

Foraging reconnects people with nature in a really positive way. Once you can identify plants, appreciate their culinary and medicinal values, recognise them as old friends and discover the wondrous ways in which nature works its sentient biochemical magic, you are left with a deep awe and respect for nature, the plants, the fungi, the…

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The Future of Food and Technology

I was asked for my thoughts on the future of food and technology. It may have been a spam email but I answered it anyway: “The future of food through technology will change it in ways we haven’t even yet thought about. Already scientists are trying to grow steaks and burgers from stem cells in…

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