A guided foray exploring the delicious, healthy and surprising range of edible spring plants (and perhaps a few fungi) around the beautiful woods, coast and hedgerows of Ardkinglas Estate on Loch Fyne, Argyll. Enjoy a wild cook-in of our finds afterwards.
Spring wild foods
March is a thrilling time for foragers, with the sap rising in trees and springs shoots at their vibrant best. Highlights of the day will include birch tapping, spring fungi, early shoots, an introduction to fermenting wild greens, and a cook-in of our finds.
Meet: For a 1pm start, Thursday 2nd April 2020, Ardkinglas House, Cairndow, Argyll, PA26 8BG (See map tab). Event ends around 17.30. Ticket holders will be emailed detailed instructions of our meeting place in the week before the event.
Expect: Gentle walking on well made paths over 3 hours (maximum 1.5 miles easy walking), followed by and informal al-fresco cook-in of our finds, or in the Edwardian kitchens of Ardkinglas House if the weather is poor. There will be wild treats and tasters to enjoy throughout. Led by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods.
Learn: Early Spring woodland, hedgerow and coastal plants, and some spring fungi if we get lucky. How to sustainably tap birch and sycamore trees for sap. Finding, identification, poisonous lookalikes, mindful harvesting, expert tips, folklore/traditional uses, modern gourmet/medicinal uses, nutrition, processing, recipes, cooking tips for a wide range of spring shoots and blossoms. Inevitably, the wider politics around foraging and food will come up too. When time and weather allow, we lay out and label our finds to serve as a souvenir and aide-memoire of the afternoon’s discoveries. Please note, although part of this walk is coastal with lots of fascinating maritime plants, Argyll’s sea lochs don’t tend to offer a big range of tasty seaweeds. We will explore what seaweeds are on show, and I will bring along some more for us to taste and learn from.
Read/watch/listen to reviews/films/radio programmes featuring Mark
Eat/drink: I think it is important to bring the wild foods we encounter to life by not just talking about them, but by eating and drinking them. To this end, in addition to the cook-in after the walk, I carry a very hefty bagful of lovingly prepared treats, tasters and tipples to share during the walk. These are both delicious and educational, and the walk is more like guided grazing, a gentle imbibing of the landscape, than a route march! Often we will make a cocktail of the plants we encounter and drink it in a beautiful spot. The cook-in afterwards serves as both an al-fresco cookery demonstration and a social time to eat together and digest the afternoon’s discoveries with new friends. While I don’t bill this as a full meal, we usually share several dishes and most people leave well filled. All dietary requirements can be catered for, provided you let me know when you book. If the weather isn’t great, we will cook and eat in Ardkinglas House’s splendid Edwardian kitchens.
Scarlet elf cup stuffed with wild garlic pesto.
Bring: Stout footwear, waterproofs, water. Your learning and enjoyment may also benefit from bringing camera, notebook, field guide (plants), small basket/cloth bag. If you make any foraged delights you wish to share with the group, please bring them along!
Places are limited and events usually sell out fast – booking is essential.
Gift vouchers are available here
If you already have a gift voucher it can be used to pay for this event (in whole or in part) at the checkout.
The Triffid Sour – Gin, sweet cicely syrup, clarified Japanese Knotweed juice
Please read the following information before booking a Galloway Wild Foods event.
This information applies only to events booked on this website. When booking events involving GWF anywhere other than on this website, the terms and conditions of the vendor apply, which may be different from the following.
Galloway Wild Foods is under no obligation to refund or rebook for no-shows or cancellations within 2 weeks of the event.
In the unlikely event that an event is cancelled by GWF you will receive full refund, exchange or voucher.
The only weather that causes events to be cancelled is dangerous wind. In these instances you will be notified as early as possible.
Please provide the following information for all members of your party in the “Additional Information” box on the payment page :
- Medical conditions
- Mobility issues
- Eating restrictions – differentiating between preferences (e.g. vegetarian), intolerances (e.g. gluten intolerance) and serious allergies (e.g. peanut allergy). All requirements can usually be catered for, but these differentiations are required for risk assessments.
Please ensure that all members of your party come suitably dressed for the weather, season and event.
On all walks, for your comfort and safety, walking boots/wellies, waterproofs and spare clothes are necessary. I always recommend wellies for coastal foraging events – you are likely to get wet feet if you don’t have them!
Please bring your own drinking water.
Your learning and enjoyment may also benefit from bringing a camera, notebook, field guide, small basket/cloth bag. Feel free to bring along any of your own wild food preparations to share and talk about.
My very friendly, calm dog occasionally accompanies me on guided walks. He is not a distraction, and often adds to the entertainment as he tends to like to copy my foraging antics! If you have a specific aversion to dogs, please check with me before booking – I don’t necessarily need to bring him. The one thing that makes him more of a handful is other dogs (he will constantly want to play with them, especially if they are ladies!), so please check in with me first if you might like to bring your own dog.
Please contact mark on email@example.com or 07900 692 478 if you have specific questions that are not answered here, or if you are running late on the day.