I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Sunday 1 September 2013

Amazing what you find when foraging...

hedgesIt was whilst foraging on the Internet for books when I discovered a complete gem!  It's an absolute must for anyone who has a love of the countryside and who enjoys the excitement of discovering wild food sources.  It's also fabulous if if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the many health benefits that come from plants which are growing wild, even as close as your own front door!  "The Hedgerow Handbook" has been beautifully researched and written by Adele Nozedar.  
It is full of suggestions on how to use plants that in some cases would be easy to overlook - such as  Water Mint -an infusion of this simple plant can be great for settling an upset stomach and relieving symptoms of colds and flu.  Haw berries (from  Hawthorn) - they are full of Vitamin C, so why not try the Haw Syrup recipe for warding off winter colds?  If you're a keen gardener you'll be all too familiar with Ground Elder - after reading this book you can discover a delicious recipe for Ground Elder Pancakes so at least you can put this menacing weed to good use!
I certainly couldn't leave out a mention for the gorgeous illustrations in this book.  It is full of stunning botanical drawings and watercolour paintings by illustrator Lizzie Harper.  For anyone unfamiliar with the plants mentioned in this book, would find them easy to recognise due to the excellent quality of Lizzie's artwork.
It's not often I get moved by opening a new book but this one certainly had that effect - a high quality book in every sense and I hope this review might just encourage you to go and discover it for yourself.  It would make a beautiful present for a  friend; I've just bought this for my best friend who recently celebrated her 50th Birthday and she was thrilled to receive this; it reminded her of all the camping holidays we went on when we were younger when gathering up things from the hedgerows to have for our supper!
This book is available on Amazon ... click on the link to order your copy!
Foraging in the hedgerows for wild food is not only a wonderful escape from the business of everyday life that consumes us all but it never ceases to amaze me as to how much natural and nutritious food sources can be discovered in your average hedge (for free!).  
Only today I've been out gathering up a number of kilos of brambles... the wafts of bramble and apple coming up the stairs as I type are wonderful and very reminiscent of my own childhood. 
Whilst I noticed the large quantities of rose hips which are around this year, so with a bit of time they'll ripen up and I will look forward to making some rose hip syrup - you'll find a recipe for this too in the Hedgerow Handbook.

The Sloes are also in abundance this year - found in Blackthorn bushes.  If you've never made Sloe Gin before, you can find a recipe for this along with another for Steamy Sloe Gin, Caramelised Apple and Sloe Pudding - sounds fantastic for a cold autumn evening in front of the fire!

Be inspired and get outside to discover the hedgerows for yourself!  Not only full of food waiting to be foraged but the hedgerows themselves provide an abundance of habitats for wildlife.

Many thanks Adele for writing such a fantastic book and to Lizzie for her fabulous illustrations!


Sue Garrett said...

We have blackberries and elder on our plot and so can pseudo forage there :)

Midmarsh John said...

That looks interesting, in fact so interesting I have ordered a copy. Thanks for writing about the book.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Sue - thanks so much for dropping by... foraging is foraging as far as I'm concerned!! Enjoy!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi John - thanks for your kind comments and hope you enjoy the book as much as I've done! I seem to remember you buying one of the keter wheelbarrows that I mentioned on here a while back... how have you found yours? Enjoy the rest of your weekend...