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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Goose Grass

I went out yesterday morning in the hope of finding some St George's mushrooms, it being the right time of year for them, but didn't have much luck. I did see this little cutie, though, so the walk was not without its rewards.


Cute but slightly nervous-looking lamb

Having failed to find any fungi of note, I decided on goose grass for this week. I've known for a while that it's edible, but been put off by its velcro-like texture. On the other hand, if I can cope with eating nettles, what's a bit of velcro to me?

The goose grass (I know it has many names, but I've always known it as goose grass and I'm sticking to that) is a few inches tall at the moment, and the young leaves are still quite tender. I'm not sure I'd want to try this later in the year as it gets tougher.


Goose grass (Galium aparine) being small, and not quite in focus

For the first attempt on this plant, I decided to bypass the texture entirely and make a tea from it.


Goose grass tea

The taste was, um, OK really. If the leaves were bitter - as I've heard this plant can be - that didn't transfer to the tea. I'm not sure I can describe the flavour; I didn't particularly like it but then I didn't particularly dislike it, either. I'll probably include these young leaves in mixed, cooked greens as a side vegetable, but in the meantime, apparently this drink (or one made with cold water) is an excellent tonic for the skin. Mine could certainly do with it.


Also harvesting this week:
Wild garlic
Garlic mustard
Sorrel
Nettles
Ground elder
Dandelions flowers (to dry)
Dandelion roots (to dry and roast)

Also eating this week:
Crab apple and rowan jelly

Also drinking this week:
Dandelion root coffee
Sloe wine
Heather ale

Foraged food challenge summary page here.

4 comments:

  1. Wait... you have adorable little lambs just running wild where you live? I don't believe I've ever seen a lamb here in Colorado. I thought it was a lawn ornament at first.

    I remain in awe of your foraging experiments. I think my father instilled WAY too much paranoia for me to ever adopt gathering wild foods as a hobby!

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    Replies
    1. There are lots of sheep in Wales! I was about to say they don't run wild, but actually up in the mountains it's hard to tell the difference, and you have to be careful driving along the mountain roads at this time of year because a lamb on the other side of the road from its mother is liable to run across in front of you. This one's in a field, but a footpath goes through the field.

      One of the farmers in our village isn't very good at keeping his sheep in, so we often have sheep and lambs wandering around, across the road, through the station car park, munching flowers outside the station cafe before heading off down the railway line. One of our neighbours has an electric fence around her veg patch.

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    2. I'm not sure why, but that seems so amazing to me! I guess they're not really "wild" but still...

      We've got a red fox that's taken up residence in the neighborhood. The other day I was rounding the corner of my house and nearly ran smack dab into the little fellow. It startled us both. He lept over the fence ran through the neighbor's yard and took off down the alley!

      Perhaps that explains the dearth of mice around the compost pile this year. Maybe he'll scare off the neighborhood skunk! :-)

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    3. Ian saw a fox in a field full of lambs recently. Mentioning this on facebook was shortly followed by the farmer heading round there with a gun. This is why we don't see so many foxes in the countryside.

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