Sunday, 25 March 2012

Rules - like 'em or not - should be observed.....

useful site for any sea food forager in Kent..

it appears it's Game On for pacific rock oysters

and there are no by-laws on what we really want, razor clams, so the search continues.


Tj @TheNook

Foraging for Spring and Summer baking decorations....

The North Downs Way from Hucking to Harrietsham runs through numerous copses of chalk downland and woodlands.

Along the way look out for a number of baking decoration ingredients for free.

Wild Strawberries - just coming into flower today - so another 2-3 weeks and you should have strawbs ready to pick.  They're delicious added to the top of cup cakes embedded in the icing

Wild Violets - both natural and white ones
pick a few flowers and dip in sugar solution and dry off. use as you would shop bought crystallised flower decorations

There are also numerous patches of wild yellow
primroses - which any one can spot - use these as above

It goes without saying - please DO NOT dig up any wild flowers if you suddenly get an urge to try and transplant a few of them to your own garden - they are easily disturbed, there are not a shortage of them if all you take is a handful of little flower heads, and their surrounding habitat contains numerous other life forms which would be upset if you dug them up too.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Of Sailing Ships and Sealing Wax, of Cabbages, and Kings.....

From the Western Heights above Dover, via the 12th Century Knights Templar church, the North Downs Way crosses under the A2, climbs high over Shakespeare's Cliff, weaving past the crumbling remains of the Napoleonic and 20th Century gun batterys towards Capel le Ferne.

Along this cliff top path  is a wide array of foragables, with the added bonus of sweeping views out to the sailing boats in the straits of Dover, East and West over the cross channel ferry harbours of Dover and Folkestone, and vertically down to Samphire Hoe.

Patches of Alexanders litter the whole path and grassland area, but the best pickings are the two of three varieties of wild cabbages/kales growing tall and proudly along the cliff edge, and across the grassy banks, which are great to pick the new succulent leaves like homegrown kales, for stir-fries, or maybe even finely shredded for 'slaws, added to soups and casseroles, or simply steamed with a splash of balsamic.

For later in the season, the hawthorns, sloes, and abundant gorse flowers ready for late summer brewing lean up the slopes away from the bracing sea breeze.

the view from Shakespeare's Cliff back across to the Port of Dover

Plenty of big wild kale/cabbage, and at this time
of year, fresh, succulent new leaves for
stir fries and soups.

several different varieties of the
wild kales, alongside the freshly
sprouted alexanders.

the perpetually flowering gorse
ready for a spot of gorse fizz
brewing later in the summer