A few Saturdays back one of us (me) joined the Incredible Edible Foraging Walk which took place in and around the IE Market Garden Training Centre just down the road at Walsden. Contrary to naive expectations I didn’t skip home through the woods afterwards with a trug filled with wild garlic and exotic fungi, however I did more importantly get an excellent introduction to the fascinating (and increasingly fashionable) world of foraging. As our instructor Mike said, foraging isn’t about self-sufficiency or eating for free, it’s about understanding the natural environment with the occasional tasty nibble thrown in on the way.

Much of what we foraged was necessarily green and leafy and invariably tasted similar to either spinach or watercress (nothing wrong with that), however a few stand-out discoveries were Wild Sorrel (sharp and more lemony than a lemon), Goosefoot (seeds like tiny hazelnuts) and best of all, Fuchsia (sweet fruits reminiscent of Pomegranate). Less desirable was a fungi called Jews Ear, the eating of which was like sucking mushroom-flavoured jelly from a slightly perished condom.


Canal @ Walsden

Miner Lettuce

Miner Lettuce

Good King Henry

Good King Henry


Chickweed – loved by chicks, hated by gardeners

Greater Plantain

Greater Plantain


Sorrel – lemony delight

Wild Raspberry

Wild Raspberry – a smaller, more angry version of the cultivated Raspberry


Fennel – aniseedy

Nettle – why not try this soup?

Red Nettle

Red Nettle – same as above but with red/pink flowers


Ribwort Plantain

Some foragers

Some would-be foragers


Hawthorn – texture of avocado, flavour of nothing much


Nasturtium – sprinkle of salads



Black Mustard

Black Mustard

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam – the seeds taste like hazelnuts


Elder – the flowers can be used to make ‘champagne’ – a definite future project

Jews ear

Jews Ear – so called because Judas was supposedly hung from an Elder tree (its favoured host)


Bilberry – a micro Blueberry

Bitter Cress

Bitter Cress – like Cress, but bitter(er)


(My Lovely) Gorse


Fuchsia – tastiest of the day


Mike -pointing at some Gorse


Fox(XXX)glove – best avoided as given the chance it would kill you

Finally, thanks to Mike and the Incredible Edibles for a most interesting 2 hour introduction to foraging.


  1. I missed the last walk, so was delighted to see all the goodies you found – what beautiful photos! Thank you.
    Hopefully, there’ll be a similar event in the Spring, so, if like me you missed the last one, look out for the next, advertised on IET’s website

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