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.
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,
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 of wild 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
Saucepan, stainless steel if you have.
Jelly bag or old pillow slip for straining
Bottles to store your syrup.screw top or clip top.
Elderberries stripped from stems, enough to half fills your saucepan.
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)
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.
Extra date 2017.
Mary has added an extra workshop for 2017.
- Sunday December 10th @ Nenagh, run in conjunction with Steeples this will be a farm, wood and wetland walk followed by indoor lunch and workshop. Book with folks @ Steeples or through Mary 087 7418536 cost €50 includes lunch and tastings.
2018 dates, here are some dates for 2018, more will be added.
- SATURDAYS @ ECOFARM GORT.
- March 10th
- May 12th
- September 22nd
- October 13th
- SUNDAYS @ CLAREEN
- March 11th
- May 13th
- September 23rd
- October 14th
Mary offers workshops to schools, primary, post primary, College and private groups, just call to discus your own specially tailored event. See below for some scheduled dates.
Workshops can be themed around such topics as fun with wild flowers and plants. Biodiversity, Natural health boosters, wine-making. Fungi… So if you are looking for an unusual gift or a fun educational/cooking experience contact Mar
- PLEASE NOTE: workshops subject to minimum of 6 people, max 15.
To arrange a workshop for your family or group, home or away, please contact Mary.
I made a very quick and easy Dairy free Elderflower Ice-cream for our forage @ weekend, here is the recipe
I used “Sojade” organic soya yogurt but you can also try mashed ripe avocado.
It’s best to use an ice cream maker if you have one. It is important to add lime and lemon juice at start to keep good colour and don’t overheat water, if you don’t have time to infuse overnight just leave flowers soaking for an hour at least.
700grms un-refined sugar (or try Xylitol)
Zest and juice of 2 organic limes and 1 lemon (0r 3 lemons),
40 fresh Elderflower heads,
200g cornflour (or Kuzu)
2, 400g tubs of Organic soya yogurt.
Teaspoon of sea salt.
Put zest, juice, and water into a pan and heat to hot but not boiling. Add flowerheads turn off heat, cover and infuse overnight if possible otherwise for at least an hour.
Strain, you should have a good strong Elderflower scented liquid.
Return liquid to rinsed pan and add sugar, heat stirring to dissolve sugar.
Mix cornflour to a thick paste with a little water, pour into pan stirring all the time, bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes stirring all the time.Turn off heat and taste, remember you will be adding yogurt and that frozen will taste less sweet. However I like to reduce the sweetness by adding a teaspoon of sea-salt at this stage.Cool the liquid, you can speed up the cooling process by putting pan into a bowl of cold water and ice cubes.
In blender blend the yogurt and COLD Elderflower or use a stick blender and large bowl, when well blended, taste adjust flavour to your liking with more sweet, salt or lemon/lime.
Churn in ice-cream maker for about 20 minutes and scoop into container. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker place in freezer and freeze for hour, remove and mix to break up any ice crystals, return to freezer and repeat twice or till frozen.
Delectable with any desert, Try Fraughan syrup for a final florish.