Food Forage in Ireland September 2016

Food Forage in Ireland September 2016

Food Foraging - Going Wild

 

 Wild Food Foraging in Ireland with Mary Bulfin at Crann Og Eco Farm.  A charming group of folk joined us for a very interesting and informative day out. Mary led the group from all walks of life through the farm and woods to forage for edible wild plants and fruits.

What a feast! We learned about mushrooms, big ones, tiny ones, tasty ones and poisonous ones… Looking in the hedgerows, wandering over the fields of Crann Og Eco Farm we found many weeds that turned out to be tasty and medicinal as well!

There were plenty of wild berries and plums to pick and eat, especially blackberries, so many blackberries! We also learned about the health benefits of nettle seeds, they are rich in minerals, great for skin and hair, as well as the kidneys and urinary system.

Yes, eating weeds is definitely possible and probably the most sustainable way to get rid of them – or at least use them! Eat them in salads, pestos, soups, bake them into bread and cookies or make tea out of them.  Remember…they are actually Wild Foods!

But before you go out, remember to inform yourself about edible plants in your region, read books or better – attend a course!

The next Wild Food Day in late autumn will be on October 22nd. Starts at 10am and finishes around 4pm. Mushroom hunting, making preserves and much more!

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Sloe Gin – Great for Christmas!

Sloe Gin – Great for Christmas!

How To

Tip: Pick Sloes after the first frost and use straight away or pop into the freezer over night for a mock frost. This should split the skins, making it easier to release the juices into the gin. Some people recommend pricking the skin but that is not necessary when they were frozen.

Ingredients:

  • Sloes, fresh or frozen
  • Gin
  • Sugar

Instructions:

  1. If you are using frozen sloes, let them thaw a bit.
  2. Fill up a jar/bottle half way with sloes.
  3. Top up with gin.
  4. Add two tablespoons of sugar.
  5. Shake for about a minute until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Store jar/bottle on it’s side in a cool and dark place. (Or in a brown paper bag)
  7. Turn the jar/bottle around every second day.
  8. You can strain and drink it after two months but the longer you leave it, the better it gets!

Elderberry Tincture

Elderberry Tincture

Herbal Remedies

The cold seasons have begun, so we wrap up warm and strengthen our immune system. Vitamin C is an important part in this. Using fresh and very local produce we made this Elderberry Syrup & the Tincture. We have two huge elder trees and a few smaller bushes growing on our land so there is always plenty for us and the birds as well.

You can also use dried or frozen elderberries for these recipes. They are simple and easy to make, contain the goodness of elderberries, honey and lovely wintry spices for a delicious taste!

Syrup

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup black elderberries
  • 3½ cups of water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root, cut into small pieces (dried ginger works as well)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder or 2 cm cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cloves or clove powder
  • 1 cup raw honey (from health food shop, farmer’s market, bee keeper)

Instructions

  • Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Do not add the honey!
  • Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by ca. half.
  • Remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled.
  • Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  • Discard the elderberries (suitable for compost) and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When cooled down, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
  • When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into one or more jars.
  • Keep in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties.
  • Standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ tbsp to 1 tbsp for adults. In case of acute flu, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Tincture

Ingredients

  • Elderberries, fresh or frozen
  • Vodka or Rum

 

Instructions

  • If you’re using frozen elderberries, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw a bit.
  • Fill up a jar or bottle half way with elderberries.
  • Add the liquor but leave about 1 or 2 inches at the top.
  • Keep in a dark and cool place for 4 – 6 weeks and gently shake every day.
  • Strain and fill into a clean bottle.
  • Take 1/4 tsp in some water once a day as a preventative and 1/2 tsp in some water twice a day when you’re ill.

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