Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Foraging nearby

Ever since I first watched the River Cottage television shows with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, I have liked the idea of foraging for food.

A wild fennel plant growing in my backyard:

2010-01-25 - Foraging - 01 - Backyard

Several plants in an empty lot down the road:

2010-01-25 - Foraging - 02 - Empty yard down the road

In this photo there is a giant fennel plant. And below it some kind of berryfruit plant, probably blackberry. Not sure I would bother with the berries though, as this particlar place is where all the rubbish that blows down hill tends to end up. When the time comes I'm thinking of harvesting the fennel seeds and drying them. There are enough wild fennel plants nearby to make it worth my while, for personal use at least.

Foraging isn't without its dangers though. There's the warnings against roadside foraging, which would be the case for the plants shown in the second photo. This is due to heavy metals from car exhausts and street run-off. Then there is the danger of plant misidentification, for fennel for instance, it is common to read warnings against mistaking it with poisonous hemlock. Although as far as I can tell, that seems to be scaremongering which is copied and pasted as people read it elsewhere and write about it on their own web page or blog post.

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