Archive of Past Foraging Events
Here is a run-down of some past Galloway Wild Foods foraging events, with feedback from participants and links to reviews and reports. I hope it gives you a flavour of what to expect…
Sunday 21st October 2012
Wild food foray round and about Kirkcudbright followed by cookery demonstration/taster
in conjunction with Kirkcudbright Food Festival
Meet 10am Kirkcudbright Town Hall
Adults £12.50, Children £7. No booking required – pay on arrival or buy tickets at the food festival on Saturday 20th.
Explore the woods, coast and hedgerows around Kirkcudbright with an expert wild food guide. We should find gourmet mushroomss, unusual berries and remarkable coastal herbs during the course of a 2.5 hour walk covering about 4 miles on mostly easy terrain. We will return to the Food Festival Hall where Mark and chef Tom Kirkpatrick will demonstrate how to turn our finds into a gourmet meal. Learn more…
The MIGHTY Mushroom Hunt
At venues all across South-West Scotland. All events FREE.
This will include foraging events a locations throughout Dumfries, Galloway, Annandale, Nithsdale and South Ayrshire led by fungi experts from across Scotland as well as one by a keen layman (me) that will be less expert and more eaty! This is a great chance to stop obsessing about what might be edible and what might be poisonous and get out with some really passionate experts who will give you a fantastic insight into the amazing world of fungi. “We’ll be looking for the mightiest mushroom of them all, but also searching out the tiny ones that perform mighty jobs for our countryside and environment.”
Click here for full details of the week.
Here are details of my Mighty Mushroom Hunt walk:
Saturday 29th September, 2-5pm
An exploration of the fungi of Knockman wood, looking at all fungi and their usefulness in nature, conservation, ecology as well as the kitchen. If weather and midges allow, and if we have found something good to eat, we may have a small al-fresco cook-in/taster back at the car park afterwards.
The culmination of the week was:
Mighty Mushroom Hunt Fungus Friday - Friday 5th October, 11am till 6pm
Kirkcudbright (and surrounding countryside)
Drop into our exhibition of fungi and fungus-related items. Find out where to look for fungi, take part in our quiz, or check out the best fungus identification books. Includes the following FREE activities:
- Mightiest Mushroom Competition
- Bring in a specimen for identification (all day)
- Minibus trips to local sites for short fungus walks with local experts (approx every hour throughout the day)
- Fungus identification workshop with microscopes (3pm)
- Wild mushroom cooking/tasting session (4.30pm)
Note that numbers are limited for some activities, but places cannot be booked in advance, only on a first come first served basis during Fungus Friday. So arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Hotels/restaurants in Kirkcudbright may be including fungi-flavoured dishes on their menus during the evening.
Leader: Peter Norman, Liz Holden and others
Wednesday 3rd October 2012
7.15 – 9pm, Glentrool Primary School, £5.00
Slide Presentaion – “Foraging For Pleasure and the Planet – An Introduction to the Wild Larder of Galloway”
In association with Glentrool and Bargrennan Community
An interactive romp around my favourite wild foods through the seasons. Hear my thoughts on how foraging can improve wellbeing and help save the planet. Sample some “in season” wild foods and play “Eat or Not Eat”…will you survive…?
“Thank you on behalf of Glentrool & Bargrennan Community Trust for a very interesting, informative & fun evening. Your presentation – “Foraging for Pleasure and the Planet – An Introduction to the Wild Larder of Galloway” at Glentrool this evening was a great introduction to the wonderful world of foraging in Galloway. We look forward to the forage on the 13th.” -Tara Lumley, Grlentrool and Bargrennan Community
On Saturday September 1st 2012, we had a…
Slow Food Day and Party
All day, assembling at Newton Farm shore, Near Gatehouse of Fleet from 5pm
Free and child friendly
Come and forage in Galloway, then join me and lots of friends for a party on the beautiful Carrick shore. Great wild food, like-minded people, live music and foraged tipples. Click here to read more…
Saturday 13th August 2011
Taster Forage – Cardoness Caravan Park, near Gatehouse of Fleet
All proceeds went to Galloway Mountain Rescue Team
- Ancient woodland and coastal foraging – mushrooms, plants, seaweeds and shellfish.
- Meet members of Galloway Mountain Rescue Team.
- 2 miles easy walking on paths, foreshore and sand flats.
- Read a review of what we got up to on this foray
- Click here to download an article from Dumfries and Galloway Life Magazine inspired by this forage
This walk raised £150 for team equipment – thanks to all who came along and contributed.
Saturday 3rd September 2011
The Art of Fungi
An inspirational wild food forage around an art gallery based on a collaboration between Galloway Wild Foods, Devorgilla Gallery and leading Scottish and Dumfries & Galloway based artists.
Sunday 11th September 2011
Garroch Estate, Glen Lee, near New Galloway.
By kind permission of the Garroch Estate, we explored the beautiful mixed woodland, fields and hedgerows around Dunveoch Glen. This area includes no less than 3 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and a host of plants and fungi – from the weird to the delicious.
Sunday 25th September 2011
Creetown Day of the Regions Taster Foray
- An exploration of the fungi and plants of Balloch wood
- 2 miles on easy paths, cook-in at Ponds after
- Free event (donations to Creetown Initiative).
Sunday 2nd October 2011
Day of the Regions Taster Foray – Gatehouse of Fleet
- Venue: Gatehouse clock tower, outside Murray Arms
- Time: 1pm
- Cost: Free event, but places limited and booking required via The Mill on the Fleet information centre. Telephone 01557 814 099.
- 2 hour gentle ramble around Cally woods, looking for interesting edible plants and fungi, identification session and al-fresco cook-in in at The Mill on the Fleet Riverside Cafe afterwards, where Chris’ (non-foraged) drinks and cakes will be available.
Sunday 23rd October 2011
1 Day Foraging Course
Focussed on fungi, but there was plenty else of interest
- Venue – mostly secret!
- 10.00am – 6pm.
- Foraged lunch with home made bread, Galloway cheeses and other local treats.
- Morning – forest fungi foray, Afternoon – Autumn fruit and fungi hedgerows.
Only 2 places left.Fully booked
- Click here for full details.
- Click here to view the gourmet wild food tasting menu.
“Thanks for a fantastic day out yesterday! Chanterelles galore followed by a most relaxing 3-hour lunch on the sun-drenched terrace of the Mill of Fleet at Gatehouse-of-Fleet. Followed by more foraging on the beach. Brilliant, I will be back!” – Eva Milroy
“Many thanks for a great day out on Sunday! We really enjoyed the structure of the day and your outgoing personality and attention to detail is first class. Kim and I set objectives to learn three or four wild fungi so we had confidence to collect on our own. We achieved that and now look forward to a bounty crop as we go forward. We will return to future courses…The food you provided was simply delicious.” - Grahame and Kim Young.
I now offer a slide presentation – please get in touch if you think that your organisation would enjoy a short talk on wild food, with hands-on samples, tasters and my “Live or die-would you eat eat it game”!
Thursday April 19th, 7.15pm 2012
Slide presentation: “Foraging, pleasure and the planet”.
- Enjoy a journey in pictures through Mark’s favourite wild foods and hear how they can reconnect us with our ‘inner forager’ and the earth. There will be a Q&A session afterwards.
- Ken Bridge Hotel, New Galloway.
- Cost £2 (which goes to SWANC)
- In association with SouthWest Association of Nature Conservationists.
- No booking required
Saturday 28th April, 2pm
Bay of Herbs spring coastal foray
- Luce Bay boasts some of the most stunning and delicious coastal plants in the UK. They put on their best display in spring and many are edible. A 2 hour gentle coastal forage followed by an al-fresco cook-in is a fantastic introduction to coastal foraging. We will find coastal plants, seaweeds, shellfish and hedgerow plants/herbs in abundance.
Sunday, May 6th, 1pm
Spring foraging course with gourmet tasting menu
- This is the Spring version of last year’s hugely successful autumn gourmet foraging day. Places are limited so that I can give you my fullest possible attention and ensure you have a thoroughly enjoyable day’s learning. We start with a short introduction over coffee and home made cakes in Gatehouse-of-Fleet, before a 2 hour woodland and hedgerow foray. After a wee breather and some light foraged victuals, we head to the shore to learn about coastal plants and shellfish hunting. The evening concludes over a 6-course tasting menu, showcasing the delicious wild foods we have learned about through the day along with other of Galloway’s superb produce. Shellfish and sweet cicely bisque, langoustine with samphire, marinaded spoots with spring herbs, McSushi, and my famous mile-high wild pie should feature. And not forgetting elderflower champagne and damson gin…
- Click here for course outline and booking form.
- Click here to view the likely menu.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
125 places available.
- £75 per person.
“Sunday 6th May was brilliant! Followed fanatical forager in Fleet forest and flow. Fun foray into flora and fauna and a few fungi with fascinated friends. Finally, fishing on the foreshore and filled full of fine food as well as flavorful facts. F’in Fabulous! FanksMark” – George Dunlop
Click here to see some photos of the day.
Wednesday, 9th May, 5.30pm
Coastal plants and shellfish foray
- WHAT: Learn about coastal plants and hunt for spoot clams and other shellfish while enjoying gorgeous views over Wigtown Bay and the Isles of Fleet. If the weather is nice we will cook some of what we find on the beach afterwards.
Friday 11th – Sunday 14th May
Gourmet weekend at Glenapp Castle, Ballantrae
I will be joining the splendidly luxurious Glenapp Castle and their michelin starred chef Adam Stokes for a weekend of the best food Scotland has to offer. In a guided foray through their extensive grounds and along the spectacular nearby coast, you will be introduced to some of the finest wild ingredients in the country. In the evening you will get to taste Adam’s interpretation of the treasures you have discovered in a special gourmet tasting menu as you watch the sun set over Ailsa Creag.
Galloway Wild Foods gift vouchers can not be used in conjunction with this event.
More details, prices and booking information soon through Glenapp Castle.
Sunday 27th May 2pm
Spring woodland and hedgerow plant foray
Cally Woods, Gatehouse of Fleet – Meet main village car park (near Spar) – NOT Riverside Cafe as previously advertised.
- WHAT?: Spring plants are every bit as tasty and interesting as Autumn’s fruit and fungi. In a 2.5 hour stroll around Cally Woods we will find dozens of delicious wild foods and you will learn how to recognise them for yourself. Also lots of tips on what to avoid! There will be an al-fresco cook-in afterwards (or in Riverside Cafe if the weather isn’t great) where you will get to sample some of what we have found.
- EXPECT: 2 miles or so of gentle walking, foraging and learning on easy paths, occasionally muddy underfoot.
Getting to grips with the carrot family course – May 2012
- Essential identification skills for 10+ umbelifers, delicious to deadly. May. Foraging experience required. Booking by arrangement.
- Many otherwise experienced foragers don’t pick any of the apeaceae family of plants because they can be hard to tell apart and include some deadly poisonous species. This course is designed to give you the tools and basic skills to confidently identify a dozen or so species – unlocking some of the finest edible wild plants in the country.
- Course now fully booked – but please get in touch if you are interested as I may be arranging another one.
- CLICK HERE to read a review of the course.
Sunday 19th August
Drumlanrig Castle Grounds
“READY, STEADY, FORAGE!” at Galloway Country Fair
I showcased Galloway’s amazing wild larder in front of a live audience.
I one hour, with a handful of eagle-eyed, nimble-fingered helpers, we gathered chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, corn mint, chickweed, brambles, sorrel, wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, plantain, blusher and hogweed seeds in and around the showground.
In slightly over 30 minutes, and with only a few extra (mostly foraged) ingredients, I cooked:
- Three-sorrel soup
- Wild mushroom, chickweed and wild spice pakora with wild salad, elderberry vinegar and crab apple verjus dressing
- Blackberries with corn mint and creme fraiche in chestnut flour pancakes with elderberry syrup
I’m afraid I was so busy I didn’t have time to take any pictures! Everyone seemed to enjoy the show though – and hopefully I converted a few people to foraging…
On Wednesday 29th at August 2012, 5.30pm we held a…
Wild Food Forage and Super Foraged Supper
A gentle two hour forage exploring the woods and hedgerows at Barstobrick will be followed by a tasty two course supper including my famous Mile-High-Wild-Pie and sublime Elderflower champagne. All this for just £25pp (under 16’s £20pp)! Numbers are strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
BOOKING FOR THIS EVENT IS VIA BARSTOBRICK VISITOR CENTRE ONLY
Sorry – Gallway Wild Foods Gift Vouchers CANNOT be used in conjunction with this event.
The event sold out and 30 of us enjoyed an great forage, despite a lack of fungi. One novice commented on his Twitter feed: “This is the best thing I have done all year!” Thanks in no small part to Julie at Barstobrick Kitchen’s superb interpretation of my mile-high wild pie. Thanks also to Robin Austin for hosting the event.