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Wild Food and Herbs on Tewkesbury Fields

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:01 pm
by Brother Kevfael
Despite the various complaints about access to the fields; I thought it was absolutely fanatastic the range of fruits, (apples, damsons,elder, sloes) and nuts, (hazel) that were growing wild, (outside the orchard I might add), along with a profusion of healing herbs such as meadowsweet and self heal. Walking through the fields in kit, on a summer day with such an abundance around me, it really added another dimension to the weekend for me. (So did the nettle ale and mead ale!!!)

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:15 pm
by Zachos
Morning kev! I agree on the beutiful walk. Shame I was carrying armour the whole way.

Zac (from the B&B)

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:25 pm
by sally
Many years ago I used to take occasional 'identification walks'round event sites with people, we'd try to identify everything we saw and would discuss what was native/appropriate to the dateline of the event and what was a later introduction, also what potential uses the various growing things could be put to.It was a really lovely way to get to know more about the natural resources, might be a nice idea to resurrect for some events. Works best if you have two or three experienced botanists/foragers/craftspeople to pool their knowledge that way everyone learns something :D

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:28 am
by Brother Kevfael
I absolutely agree with you. Too often I feel that it is overlooked that the majority of people pre-industrial revolution were rural. And they would have a working practical knowledge of the plants around them. I think what frequently happens in reenactment is that this gets hidden behind the fighting and weapons, especially in the medieval period, (i.e Wars of the Roses). I believe that it is important for reenactors to preserve this knowledge, because in this modern age we are in danger of losing it, and it is part of our heritage.
Sorry for getting carried away I'm getting off my soap box now :lol:
Hi Zac, nice pics.

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:38 am
by Adam the Archer
Brother Kevfael and I were walking through the fields on Saturday and he pointed out what I could have eaten and used for medicine etc. it was a useful walk and showed the abundance of things that would have been available.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:40 pm
by Lady Wolfshead
A guided walk round sites sounds like a great idea. I've been going for walks recently on the rare, sunny evenings and the number of plants and flowers about at the moment is wonderful. I can identify some but it'd be lovely to know more. :)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:36 pm
by gap736uk
I'd be interested in being a student! :) Sounds great! Esp. as I'm getting into cooking at the events - got myself a lidded pot at long last and made my first potage at Tewkes! (and it went! :) )... would be great to forage and cook with what I've collected.

I'll be at Berkerley if anyone fancies showing me some items I could use

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:21 am
by Brother Kevfael
Some good books for people who are interested are "Food for free" by Richard Mabey; "A cook on the Wildside" and "The River Cottage Cookbook" by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingsal, (I can never spell his name correctly); Roger Phillips' book on Herbs is also an excellent one.
However, I have to give the usual warning: Never eat a plant, berry or piece of fungi unless you are absolutely sure that it is safe. If you are buying plant or fungi identification books always get the most up to date one.

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:29 pm
by Cat
Yaah! I spotted the massive amount of meadowsweet too. The rain this year has brought everything on a bit-I'm finding that fruit etc is ready and over faster on th' allotment than would normally be the case.

Off topic, can I just say, if you're thinking of getting an allotment, DO! The flavour of everything is so much better, and I'm getting to know the more unusual things like buckler sorrel (like lemons) and black string beans (my class has renamed them Goth beans). Rainbow chard is fantastic to look at too, then you can eat it, and I have more sweet pea flowers and nasturtiums than I know what to do with.

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:15 am
by Brother Kevfael
Tell me about it! I haven't got a herb garden now, but a herb jungle.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:58 pm
by Lady Wolfshead
Okay, officially jealous now. Don't even have a garden let alone an allotment and I really miss home-grown produce (my mum had an allotment when we were kids). :cry:

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:13 pm
by gregory23b
"and I'm getting to know the more unusual things like buckler sorrel (like lemons) and black string beans (my class has renamed them Goth beans). Rainbow chard is fantastic to look at too, then you can eat it, and I have more sweet pea flowers"

Crikey Cat old dear, sounds like a bit of my herb patch and what we grew a year or so back.

The sorrel we haev, two sorts, buckler and the normal one. Black strin g beans we grew a couple of years abck against the fence, talk about a high yeild for what are quite squat plants, assuming similar variety, chard is lovely too, cut and come again.

Damnit woman you are making me want to start up an allotment again, I daren't as we might be moving in a couple of years so I will only get one growing season in.

May I suggest salad purslane, easy to grow, unusual but really quite refreshing.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:50 pm
by Cat
Try joining the Seed Library (?) forgotten its exact name, but the rare breeds centre of the seeds world; the weather is being a bit of a challenge, but the floods didn't manage to get the black-podded peas and very pretty purple beanflowers that are still growing happily.

Harvested my first two small pumpkins today, before the damp and the slugs got 'em.

The weeds, though. The demn weeds! And the slugs! Size of tigers! Growling and everything! Pass me rock-salt gun, Smithers, I'm going in!
I may be (dramatic pause) some time!