THE CUT

Our online botanical publication.

GREEN UP YOUR LIFE

FORAGING AND FOLKLORE AT MODERN BARN FARM

12th April 2019

Words by Jessica Peace

Since we last had a natter with Hannah Grows she’s been setting up ‘Modern Barn Farm’ in East Sussex with the Indie Farmer. Modern Barn Farm will be a place for people to reconnect with nature and learn about sustainable food production - we can’t wait to get down there to get muddy and educated.

But whilst they were knockin’ it up, Hannah and Alba the pup took a break to stomp about the farm’s woodlands with us, foraging for wildflowers to eat and shooting the breeze on floral folklore.

WILD VIOLET

“Can I eat you?”

“Yes.  Shove my sexy violet flowers and deep green leaves into your cakehole.”

Wild violet leaves are pumped full of vit A and C, you can gobble them like you would any other salad leaf; the flowers can be used as edible decorations, crystalised, jellied or made into vinegar, tea, syrup and wine.

BIT OF FOLKLORE

The wild violet is the flower of the Goddess of The Underworld,  ‘Persephone’. The poor lass was minding her own business when Hades plucked her up and dragged her off to hell - so have your wits about you!

GORSE

“Can I eat you?”

“Yes, eat my coconutty flower but hands off my spikey bits!”

Gorse flower tastes slightly coconutty, add it to sweeten up your dish, tea, syrup or turn it into wine. DON’T be greedy though, too much gorse becomes toxic mate.

BIT OF FOLKLORE

They say, “when gorse is out of bloom kissing is out of season.” Good job it’s always in bloom then.

RAMSONS (WILD GARLIC)

“Can I eat you?”

“Yes - my broad leaves, my delicate flowers but keep off my bulbs!”

Mash the leaves into your pesto or use them to beef up your sarnie; chuck the flowers onto your salads they are just as garlicky. Ramsons are great for bringing down your cholesterol and blood pressure if you’ve been overdoing it.

BIT OF FOLKLORE

Well, their posh name is Allium ursinum which translates as ‘bear garlic’, harking back to when bears were roamin’ about munching on them.

PRIMROSE

“Can I eat you?”

“Yes - and I’m great for getting rid of your cold!”

Chuck the leaves into a hot pan but the flowers are better off raw or made into a sweet wine or tea.

BIT OF FOLKLORE

Draw in that white magic and battle back the black with a posy of primroses. Traditionally on May Day the Druids and Celts strung up wreaths of primroses with other yellow flowers to ward off evil and bring forth white magic! We could all do with a bit of that.

“Prim” and “rose” translates as ‘the first rose of the year’.

Follow our (indie farming) plant heroes Hannah and Nigel and be the first to knock on their barn door when it’s ready. (we drool over their instagrams when we need a bit of mud and green.) Modern Barn Farm will be open for any of us who want to escape the smoke and get back into nature - see you there.

@modernbarnfarm

Made by @indiefarmer and @hannah_grows

https://www.indiefarmer.com/

[REMEMBER, when you’re foraging leave enough behind for everyone else and don’t pick too close to pavements - dog piss mate.]