Tag Archives: Wild

The Survival Series Part Four: Pennywort

Foraging and finding food in the wild can be quite exciting and when you learn what to look out for it starts to become more than hobby and more like an addiction.

In this series I explore various wild foods, which could be helpful for you in any apocalyptic scenario (or simply if you’ve an interest in trying something new). This week:

Pennywort

Also known as Navelwort, this bright green bite of the wild can be found in many places across Ireland. A fleshy plant, it’s so named for its umbilicate (or navel-like) leaves.

Found on cliffs, stone walls and stony banks, it has quite a distinctive look and can be enjoyed simply by plucking off the leaves and popping them into your mouth.

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(Image via WikimediaCommons/Geograph)

From June to September, you’ll see pennywort with large bell-shaped flowers that veer upward into a spiral.

According to Kerry folklore, the perennial plant was “known to be a cure for corns”, though I’ve yet to see proof of that!

This plant is perfect as an addition to any salad as it gives a juicy bite to the rest of the leaves.

It has a lovely texture and makes for a nice contrast against the softer plants.

Easy to snap up if you’re in a hurry, it’s no wonder that this little plant is also known as “bread and butter”. Happy foraging!

Movie to watch: The Road

(Lead image via WikimediaCommons/Geograph)

The Survival Series Part Two: Wild Garlic

Last week I started a new food series here on the blog focusing in on my fascination with survival (and coincidentally the ever-looming apocalypse).

Each week I’ll feature a wild food resource that can be found lurking where you least expect it.

See it as a guide for when things start to go down; if anything you’ll be prepared! This week:

Wild Garlic

T’is the season. Spring is truly here when wild garlic is in abundance.

It’s often remarked that wild garlic has been prized for many years in Ireland and I can see why.

These glorious tufts of green, fragrant leaves and flowers are filled with the most wonderful flavour.

Preferring more acidic soils, you’ll find the plant on the deciduous woodland floor where it grows like a carpet, spreading around trees and walkways.

What’s great is that the entire plant is edible, but unless you actually own the land where the plant is growing, it’s illegal to uproot the whole bulb (incidentally uprooting can prevent the plant from returning the next year so it’s better to be a sustainable forager!)

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(Image via WikimediaCommons/PhilipHalling)

Your best bet is to take leaves, from a few plants around the area and pop them into a foraging sack.

Be wary that there may be dogs who have had to the understandable urge to pee in the woods, so it’s safer not to clip the leaves that are just beside a pathway.

There are a few plants that look like wild garlic but are highly poisonous (I’m looking at you Lily of the Valley), but use your nose – the plant should smell distinctively like garlic and be very pungent. Don’t pick it if you’re unsure.

For those with a little bit more time on their hands and are not in a hurry to feed their camp or run away from zombies, why not try to blend up the wild garlic with Parmesan, rapeseed oil, lemon and pine nuts to make a delicious homemade pesto – perfect on crackers or on pasta.

As always, happy foraging!

Movie to watch: Contagion

(Lead image via WikimediaCommons/michaelclarke)