This post was originally published on Richard’s blog here and reposted with his permission.
The weather has been getting better this last few weeks and this has encouraged me to get out and about. I’ve done a bit in my own garden, and spent a couple of afternoons at the Tayport Community Garden which is a great local community project. And I’m also quite pleased that I’ve been able to do a bit of wild food foraging. This time of year I love to head out in search of wild garlic, it is really easy to identify and can be used in a range of ways. I think the foraging lifestyle is one of the best ways to be truly sustainable and this is sonething that really interests me in Neolithic and Mesolithic history. There were settlements in North East Fife thousands of years ago (near Morton lochs) and I can imagine the people living here then using wild herbs to flavour the shellfish and meat.
So I managed to find a good supply of wild garlic and then set about using it, I fried some garlic mushrooms, whipped up a wild garlic omelette, made some wild garlic and cheese scones and have even gave kimchi a try, although this won’t be ready for a few weeks. And my house now smells rather, well, garlicky! There are some great resources online and Galloway Wild Foods is one of the best so I used the advice from them to help me prepare the kimchi, a fermented pickled garlic, originally from Korea. If it is a success I might try other versions including nettles. The scones were pretty good too, and the garlic flavour nicely subtle, so I’ll certainly try making them again. Next on my list is wild garlic humous.
Of course it would be a challenge to live solely from foraging, and finding a reliable source of carbohydrates is the major challenge. So it is good that we can get hold of these staples, like potatoes, really easily, thanks to our ancestors who domesticated these crops. Even though access to shops means we can get most foods when we want I think home grown always taste better, so I was really happy to lend a hand at the PLANT Community Garden as they were preparing and planting up a new tattie bed. As we worked I learnt a lot from Peter and Jenny, who both work there, and although I’ve done a fair bit of gardening before it was great to learn new many things. I also realised that my ability to prepare a straight trench left a little to be desired. However I doubt this will impact on the taste, and so I’m really looking forward to tasting some first crop new potatoes, possibly served up with some wild garlic butter!