Roses, Elderflower and Bumble Bees

It’s almost midsummer, not that you’d notice from the weather. All the same, plenty is happening in the new kitchen and garden.

This year I’m adding Rose petals to my Elderflower champagne as suggested by Andy Hamilton, and I will try the combination in cordial also. It looks very pretty. Every dry sunny spell has me abandoning all to go gather blossoms.

Last chance for wild garlic leaves also. We have a heap of them to process today, get into jars and freeze. The new kitchen layout is working so well with lots of work space, a bright, clean look, and hot water on demand!

We have sown seeds for a new bumble bee patch of wildflowers. Seeds saved from beautiful wild meadows include Knapweed, Vetch, Selfheal, Thistle, Quaking Grass, Scabious, Trefoil and Yellow Rattle. Our hope is to introduce far more diversity of species in the wild patches, and the Yellow Rattle is partly parasitic on grass so if it grows, it will help to keep the grasses from overwhelming everything else.

Bumper Summer Harvest & Upcoming Forage Days

Bumper Summer Harvest & Upcoming Forage Days

Hi everyone, Wild Food Mary here with the lastest in Wild Food Foraging 2018.


Well it’s been some summer has it not!  I was blessed to have enough water to keep my vegetable gardens going and can’t eat enough tomatoes…I’ve got mountains of them. Mediterranean food nearly overtaking my gardens, in County Offaly, Ireland…love it!

Bunches and bunches of grapes. Basket after basket of soft fruit, my apple trees are straining under the weight of fruit and there are heaps of mushrooms to process, my house full of aromas from bubbling pans!

Brilliant to have such a summer, but it’s impacts have been difficult for our farmers and growers here in Ireland.

‘Tis one of the best years of food growing I’ve had and the Wild Food Forage Workshops this Autumn may well be utterly spectacular, I can hardly wait.

Join me for the end of Summer harvest on two Wild Food Forage days:

Saturday 22nd September, 10am, Crann Og Eco Farm, County Galway

Sunday 23rd September, 10am, Wild Food Mary, Clareen, County Offaly.


Book Your Foraging Place           Buy Forage Day Gift Voucher

I’m already seeing fungi popping up in the woods and fields, so I’m predicting this year’s Autumn Mushroom Picking is going to be outstanding.

It’s one of my favourite days of the year, mushroom ‘hunting’, teaching people how to find mushrooms in the wild, then watching their smiling faces as they tune-in to the fungi and literally start finding them popping up everywhwere.

But folks remember, there are so many wild mushrooms and some of them are poisonous and should not be eaten at all!  It’s really important to correctly identify your mushrooms, and equally important how you handle and store them, especially if you’re unsure which species they are.  You don’t want to be mixing poisonous mushrooms with ones you are going to eat later, that could be very bad for your health, maybe even fatal!

I’ve been a mushroom collector all my life and while I know just about all of them, still there can be doubts, as there are often similarities and only an experienced eye knows the small tell-tale differences.

That’s why I always bring to my Forage Day Workshops the best books about mushrooms. I use them during my workshops to teach and show people the differences and make correct identifications. That way we’re guaranteed to enjoy a tasty, nourishing and hearty meal at the end of our mushroom hunt.

If you’re into wild mushrooms, whether experienced or a newbie, you’re sure to find my late Autumn forages this year a great day out. You can join me at:

Saturday 13th October, 10am, Crann Og Eco Farm, County Galway

Sunday 14th October, 10am, Wild Food Mary, Clareen, County Offaly


Book Your Foraging Place           Buy Forage Day Gift Voucher

As it’s been such a warm and sunny summer I’m expecting absolute bumper harvests of wild fruits and herbs and quite possibly a mountain of fungi in October.

If you’re up for joining me and learning about wild foods, I reckon this is going to be one of the best years in recent memory for Wild Food Foraging. It’ll be great to see you there, join me for what is a great day out, educational and lots of fun.

It’s self empowering too, you will learn more about how you can harvest and eat directly from Mother Nature. I’ll show you some great ways to prepare the foods we find, interesting recipes and excellent preserves.

We’ll all eat together after our foraging, sharing a delicious meal incorporating wild foods and other organic goodies I’ll bring along from my gardens in County Offaly. Bring some friends and family too if you like, it’s a great way to learn together.

And some special treats for afterwards too, like my Award Winning Beech Leaf and Wild Damson Liqueurs, made by me, available only from select fine restaurants and liquour outlets, and of course direct from me too.

Ooh, I can hardly wait…bye for now, Wild Food Mary. xx


Forage Day Workshops           Wild & Fine Liqueurs

First Forages 2018

It might still look like winter out there but things are stirring in the hedges and woods. Superfoods springing up all around.

Saturday March 10th sees our first foray of the year, time to get up close to nature, Ecofarm Gort, book through website or contact me by email (no phone at moment as I’m off in Australia enjoying sub-tropical storms)

Sunday March 11th sees us back in Clareen Offaly, places available, as above book through website or contact me by email.

Last date for 2017 and Dates for 2018

Workshops during October were disrupted by storms and so I am offering a extra date in December, Sunday 10th @Nenagh. This will be in conjunction with the good folks @ Steeples and include a farm forage at Shanbally  followed by lunch and workshop at Steeples, book through steeples or call Mary 087 7418536.

First dates for 2018,

There will be more dates and detail added later.

Eco farm @ Gort Co. Galway, book with


March 10th

May 12th

Sept 22nd

Oct 13th

SUNDAYS @ Wildfoodmary Clareen

March 11th


Sept 23rd

Oct 14th.

More dates and detail coming in November, book your own date with Mary 087 7418536.

Transition Year Day Out

Transition Year Day Out

A fun day with transition year students today,here is  just a selection of plants we worked with.

We also enjoyed some Wild Damson brownies (Gluten and dairy free of course) and Nettle Lemonade.

We saw flowering Hazel with it’s big male catkins and tiny pink female flowers, which is the part that becomes the Hazelnut.

We tasted a Garlic flavoured Cabbage, and found scented Sweet Violets.

We found Sorrel, loaded with vitamin C and learned about some common natural pain killers.

We identified wild foods packed with Protein and many other nutrients.

We dug for Pignuts met the resident donkey, dogs and animals.

Thank you all for a busy fun day,


Mushroom Butter,

Mushroom Butter,

This is quick and easy to make, keeps well in fridge for 2 weeks and freezes well. It is a method of saving flavour of your mushrooms for later. The butter is sublime on toast, risotto, baked spud or as a special treat with poached eggs.

Other mushroom combinations work also,this is based on my latest seasonal finds.

400g Winter Chanterelle,

100g horn of plenty, or tablespoon dried, soaked in red wine.

2 shallots, diced.

tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped.

Black pepper, sea salt and dash of truffle oil if you are lucky enough to have some.

450 g soft butter.

Heat a little oil in a heavy pan, Sauté the shallots, add mushrooms and seasoning, except truffle oil and cook ten mins on medium heat.

Allow to cool, when cool cream butter and add the mush mix, finish with drop or two of truffle oil. Pot into small jars and freeze if not using within 2 weeks.


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