After the wettest, (but mild), winter anyone can remember, we are moving into an early onset spring. Birds have started nesting, spring flowers have put in an early appearance. Many plants have started to put out tender shoots, and this is a good time to harvest them. Chickweed and Bittercress are good for salads, nettles are sprouting and are less fibrous than later in the year so are good for soup and as a green vegetable. Garlic Mustard is coming up and can be used in stir-fries, stews and casseroles as a flavouring. It is good to put in with blander greens too. Hop shoots are coming into season, sorrel is putting out new leaves and Hogweed is coming up too. For those near the coast, Alexanders, Sea Beet and Sea Kale are all available.
On the other hand, fungi are few and far between at this time of year. But you might find the cold tolerant form of Oyster Mushroom, usually growing on Beech logs. Winter Chanterelle can also be found. Looking forward a few days or weeks, depending on the weather, Fairy Ring Champignons will appear in grassland. The real spring specialists are the Morels: Never common, you will need luck to find them. Try looking amongst bark mulch, (used to suppress weed growth under shrubs), or where fires have burned in woodland for the best chance of coming across them.
Dates & Venues
Come join us on one of our courses in the wonderful English countryside for a day of foraging, identifying, cooking and fun...