Words by Jessica Peace
We went on a little evening forage… and it was WILD.
The forage was put together by our mates at The South London Botanical Institute (a FAVE floral spot) and the forager Jason Irving.
We met up at Burgess Park around 5pm whilst the sun was still blazing - all these heat waves we’re having?! And scavenged the park for green goods until 7pm.
We walked, we picked, we passed around Jason’s tinctures and tonics and at the end of the evening as the park was filling with 6 packs (both kinds) and boom boxes we all shared Jason’s pesto and syrup teas. Stuff dreams are made of.
You can’t just pluck off and dig out any old weed or branch you fancy…
Legally, you can pick anything you can grab on public land that is not for commercial use; don’t get any ideas about starting your business on the dandelions off London Fields.
Don’t be a pig, leave enough for the birds and the bees, some for next year and just some to look pretty.
Be aware of mushrooms and umbellifers - the tall frothy stuff.
Basically, if you’re not sure what it is then don’t shove it in your mouth.JUST SOME OF THE GOOD STUFF WE’VE BEEN WALKING PAST…
Got a leaf like a dandelion but softer and with a bitter taste - means it’s good for ya; dig the root up in winter for the sugars and throw it in your pan; it’s a probiotic so chew it for your gut health.
Sweet, almond flavoured flower heads. Nell from SLBI has used them in sorbets, teas and cupcakes. (She often cooks at their events - get yourself down to Norwood).
Pick this wild rose for its tasty hips. It was used during the war to give Blighty something sweet and packed with vitamins - and you didn’t need to get out your ration book.
Why wouldn’t you? Free food and a good time? Plus Jason tells us urban jungles like London are some of the best places to forage.
IT’S GOOD TO HAVE A LITTLE HELP
As fun as this is you don’t want to chew on the wrong tip - we’ve all seen that film where he sets his money on fire and then ends up in a heap by his caravan. Tag along with Jason on one of his walks over the Summer.
This event was a fiver (!!!) look at SLBI Events Page to get yourself some wild (and dirt cheap) floral good times.