Hedgerows, moors, meadows and woods – these hold a veritable feast for the forager. In this hugely informative and witty handbook, John Wright reveals how to spot the free and delicious pickings to be found in the British countryside, and how to prepare and cook them.
First John touches on the basics for the hedgerow forager, with an introduction to conservation, safety, the law, and all the equipment that you may need. Next he guides you through the tasty edible species to be found. Each one is accompanied by photographs for identification, along with their conservation status, habitat, distribution, season, taste, texture and cooking methods – not forgetting, of course, some fascinating asides and diversions about their taxonomy and history. Fifty species are covered, including bilberries, blackberries, raspberries, common mallow, dandelions, hedge garlic, horseradish, pignuts, nettles, sloes, sweet chestnuts, water mint, bulrushes and wild cherries. After this there is a section describing the poisonous species to steer clear of, with identifying photographs as well as warnings about nasty 'lookalikes'. Finally, there are thirty delicious recipes to show how you can make the most of your (edible) findings.
Introduced by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hedgerow is an indispensable household reference, and an essential book to have by your side for every trip into the countryside.
John Wright's passion for the foraging life is unbounded; he can be found from waist-deep in the sea collecting seaweed to ten feet up a tree picking mushrooms. He has become a regular lecturer and guide at River Cottage HQ. HIs first book, Mushrooms, was described in the Independent as 'the best guide to gathering and eating wild mushrooms there has ever been' and was shortlisted for the Jeremy Round award. His second book, the recently published Edible Seashore, describes the joys of foraging down by the sea, finding things from sea beet to lobsters.
"'Wright's personable style, knowledge and humour shine in this book – which is a cracking good read, even if you forage no further than your armchair [...] Elegant and simple recipes give us reasons aplenty to get going, while the foragers' calendar will prevent us setting out unnecessarily. Pop this portable book in your rucksack, and enjoy the countryside in good company'"
– Gardens Illustrated
"If you have yet to come across the River Cottage Handbooks, I can't recommend them enough"
– Rachel Khoo, Daily Mail