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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
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 ecostayireland.com
SATURDAYS @ ECOFARM 2018
SUNDAYS @ Wildfoodmary Clareen
More dates and detail coming in November, book your own date with Mary 087 7418536.
Ramson’s wild Garlic is appearing in many a wooded spot around now. Easy to identify and very tasty this is a great “starter”forage food. But a few words of warning.
Learn to distinguish young leaves from the young leaves of Wild Arum which often grows near by and when small can be mistaken by the unwary.
Pesto seems to be the most popular use of wild garlic and while it is easy to make there are some safety considerations.
Any food stored under oil has a short shelf life of 2 weeks. There should always be a layer of oil covering the pesto and once you start to use remember to top up with with more oil.
Store your pesto in the Fridge, below 5 degrees centigrade.
If any of your pesto shows signs of bubbling or pressure building up in the jars disgard the batch. Better to head out to the woods and start again.
Your pesto (or garlic leaves) will freeze well so you can keep a supply throughout the year.
So Keep cool, keep safe and happy.
Wild Energy booster.
This is my daily fix ofwild power, packed full of nutrients and flavour. Recipe is for 1 large or two medium servings.
Handfull of fresh garlic leaves.
Handfull of fresh nettles,
juice and zest of organic lemon, if you don’t have organic leave out the zest.
2 peeled apples or one ripe banana.
1 and 1/2 cups filtered water.
Blitz together and enjoy.
Nettle and Parsley pesto.
Ramsons Garlic and Rocket Pesto.
These are versatile recipes using whatever combination of leaves you like.Oil can be Olive, rapeseed or a combination. Nuts can be Cashew, Walnut , Pinenut or again a combination. Cheese is optional, again I often use Mossfield mature or leave out altogether to suit those with Dairy intolerance. if you have nothing to hand but leaves and oil you can blend together and season later.
2 liter jug of young leaves of choice,
300mls of oil,
juice of 3 lemons,(if organic use zest also)
100grms nuts or seeds.
100grms grated Parmesan or mature cheese (optional)
First snip leaves with scissors, this avoids long strands getting tangled in your blender.
Blend leaves and oil, season, add lemon juice and zest, blend briefly, stir inchopped nuts and cheese if using, pot into small jars and refrigerate or freeze.
Elderberries are ripening in hedgerows, great news as these little berries are tasty, easy to identify and full of goodness. They are at least as valuable when it comes to boosting your immune system as Echinacea and available for free all around us. So grab your bucket and get yourself some local free super food.
Elderberries are rich in vitamin C, they also contain high levels of flavonoids which inhibit the ability of flu virus to enter cells. Elderberries are packed with all the essential amino acids, Vit A, B C and H, calcium, magnesium and Iron.Thus Elderberry is a strong immune strengthening herb. They act as tonic, antibacterial,anti-inflammatory, and expectorant.
Elderberries can be used in relishes chutneys, jellies and syrups. They also contain high levels of tannins which makes these little beauties perfect for making homemade wine.I use Elderberry wine to blend with other fruit wines. Here is a simple recipe for syrup which stores well, take a spoonful every day as winter tonic or every few hours at first signs of infection.
Elderberry Syrup, spiced. Syrups are very versatile, they make a great warming drink, can be drizzled over ice-cream or pancakes or added to smoothies or even sauces.Take a Spoonful over porridge or in yogurt in morning. This is my favourite winter syrup. Great added to a hot port, guaranteed to cheer you up when the chills threaten. I usually add cloves and cinnamon bark or star anise to the mix to give it extra warmth, you could try organic lemon juice and zest or organic orange jest
Equipment: Saucepan, stainless steel if you have. Jelly bag or old pillow slip for straining Measuring jug Weighing scales, Bottles to store your syrup.screw top or clip top.
Ingredients: Elderberries stripped from stems, enough to half fills your saucepan. Water, Cloves, Cinnamon stick. Sugar.white, unrefined or Demerara.(you can use xylitol for a sugar free version)
Citric acid or juice and jest of organic lemon (aids preservation)
Method: Put berries in pan and cover with water, bring to boil and boil for 15 mins.Strain through jelly bag or pillow slip, squeezing to extract as much juice as possible. At this stage you can freeze some of the juice to later. Sterilize bottles in oven ( not essential if for home use) 20 mins at 160. Rinse saucepan and measure juice. For every liter of juice add 250grms sugar or xylitol to taste.
This is a small quantity of sugar but you can increase if you prefer a sweeter juice.
Use one teaspoon of citric acid or 2 lemons per liter.
Add spices if using, I usually add them directly into bottles, cloves in one , Cinnamon in another etc, about 4 cloves and 3cm cinnamon per 250ml bottle. Heat and stir to dissolve sugar.bring to boil, turn off heat and allow to cool a little before adding citric acid, stir to dissolve and bottle. Bottle and allow to cool completely before storing in cool dark place or fridge.