To introduce myself, my name is Kev and I’m a bushcraft instructor with a company called Woodland Waysand out of all the various skills that we teach which includes everything from firelighting to flint knapping my main area of expertise is wild plants and foraging.
I was first introduced to edible wild plants at the age of about 9, when I was shown that you could eat stinging nettles and hawthorn leaves which sparked an interest that has persisted for life.
I first heard about what Gerald and George where doing from one of our apprentice instructors whilst we were running a course in Morocco last September. Straight away I felt that it was something that I personally and Woodland Ways should be involved with. It was too much of a coincidence that after having emailed each other a few times, I had just finished delivering a foraging course in Berkhamstead, when one of the customers on the course introduced himself by saying “I think we’ve been emailing each other all week, I’m George from The Foragers”.
Since then we have been working together to develop what we hope will be some interesting and unique ideas, kicking off with the Foraging Talk & Dinner on the 28th of March. This will be followed by foraging walks on the last Wednesday of each month through until October.
We are also working together to try to incorporate as many wild plants as possible into the menu at The Foragers. As a “foody” I am really excited with this aspect, and the chance to try out new combinations of wild ingredients. When we last met up just before Christmas I brought over a jar of Christmas Chutney that I had been experimenting with, made from dried elderberries and spiced with the seeds and roots of several wild plants, and it’s developing unusual things like this which will set the Foragers apart.
Another project we are jointly working on is producing our own beer, utilising wild plants as flavouring just as they did before hops where introduced into this country in Tudor times.
In April we are opening the “World of Bushcraft”, our visitor experience in Bedford and we have invited George and Gerald to provide the canapés for the press launch on the 6th and to provide on-site catering for the official opening on the 7th which will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of fantastic food they are producing.
I think 2012 is going to by a busy but exciting year, with the mild winter there is already a lot of edible wild plants coming through in the hedgerows………which at the moment for me is particularly frustrating as I’m pretty much housebound with a broken leg (long story but it involves a motorbike and deep sand in the Sahara!). I’m hoping that we don’t have lots of snow and frost to kill it all off before I’m up and about.