Yesterday we stumbled across the largest patch of flowering Wild Garlic we have ever seen. We have had a few harvests this year already. Most has gone into pesto which is a firm favourite, or chopped and added to soups, pasta and eggs.
Today we made a delicious wild garlic butter by chopping around 50 grams of leaves and flowers and mixing into a pack of softened butter. I froze half; rolling it into a sausage shape and wrapping in baking paper before popping in the freezer. The rest we will keep in the fridge. We have already enjoyed it spread thickly on doorstep toast and it was such a treat! We also added a scoop into some boiled new potatoes which was delicious too.
As a forager and lover of wild food, I think Nettles are up there as one of the most nutritious and versatile additions to any diet. They are perhaps one of the easiest plants to identify and their abundance and long season means that they are often visible everywhere from gardens to woodlands.
Nettles are especially rich in Iron and vitamins A & C and offer cleansing and detoxing properties. Not only do they benefit our diets, they also provide nourishment to our hair and skin when added to natural products.
We tend to use Nettles in much the same ways as we would use Spinach – in curries, soups, smoothies and juices. As soon as Nettles are heated, dried or blended they lose their sting but they do require a fair bit of caution when handling before hand! They make a wonderful tea using either fresh or dried leaves and can also be steeped overnight for a wonderful cleansing and iron rich morning tonic.
It is always a good idea to do some of your own research before foraging and make sure you are prepared. A good introduction to Nettles can be found here, and you can read more information about the foraging code of conduct here.
There are so many reasons we love to forage for wild plants. Firstly any excuse to be out in nature, is always inspiring and restorative for us. The discovery of a plant that is growing wild, without pesticides and can be bursting with nutrients and healing properties all for free always feels like such a gift. But another reason I love it, are for the lessons I learn along the way.
A few days ago, I set out with an intention to gather some freshly bloomed wild Rose. I had been seeing it in abundance along roadsides for a couple of days and hoped to collect some from a pollution free spot for the first time this year. However upon arriving at our destination, the Rose buds were tightly coiled and far from blooming. The place was so beautiful though; bird song vibrant, wildflower rich and I felt so at peace as my senses absorbed my surroundings with glee.
Welcome to our website. We are Nicola and Chris and we created Wild Fen to celebrate our love for the natural world and the abundance that she offers, both in terms of inspiration and resources. We have both been studying and enjoying nature for most of our lives. This has evolved in many ways including growing our own organic herbs and plants, foraging wild edibles, concocting natural products and capturing the beauty of nature through photography and artwork. You can read more about our journey here.
This site will be a space to record our recipes, sell our creations and share inspiration with others.