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#18928 - 09/05/03 10:16 AM Local wild food?


Not sure if this is the right forum, but as its not technically emergency survival, I thought I'd put it here.

I'm thinking of compiling a "Local Wild Food" Recipe list for where I live (currently inner city Leeds, UK). Surprisingly there is quite a lot of edible stuff around. So far my housemate and I have found Elderberries, Acorns, Rosehips, and Hawthorn leaves. I also live near a small woodland area that snakes out to the suburbs, which I have yet to fully explore.

As its Elderberry season, we picked some and got 6.5 lbs of them! <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Does anyone have recipes for any of the above that don't require too many extra ingredients (making wine is out as we don't have a big enough container).


#18929 - 09/05/03 01:08 PM Re: Local wild food?


Take a look under the "Plant" heading here:


Steve is very approachable so don't be afraid to email him with questions. He also has a few books out on the subject as well.


#18930 - 09/05/03 01:21 PM Re: Local wild food?

have a looka at one of ray mears books, they have some nice photos. also the sas survival book by lofty wiseman has plenty on food. i also have a book that i got in waterstones, on edible plants thats quite good, it has a use/how to use section for each plant. i'll look up the isbn when i get home and post it here for you. did you mention rowan? you can make jam out of the berries.

#18931 - 09/05/03 05:17 PM Re: Local wild food?
Greg_Sackett Offline

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 225
Loc: KC, MO
If I had 6.5 lbs of elderberries, I would be making jelly or jam. They are one of my favorite jellies, right after black raspberry.



#18932 - 09/06/03 12:40 AM Re: Local wild food?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Acorns are probably the richest single food source. They contain tannic acid and must be leached. There are numerous online resources describing this process and the many ways of cooking the mast. Acorn and oakleaf remains were found in the burial thought to be Phillip of Macedonia. Ancient Saxons and Nordic peoples put acorns on the window sill to ward off thunder. The pull cords on old curtains still have plastic acorn shaped tips ( until you explain to your grandmother what they represent.) <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> I would claim gathering rights on all the groves before those bedsheet Druids read about them and claim another ancient,unbroken hereditary right. <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Don't forget Dandelions! Any local farms untenanted? oftentimes small bits of crop will self propogate in odd places. I worked on Bing Crosby's old thoroughbred farm here in California. In spite of continued subleasing for crops, I discovered an heirloom variety of squash growing near the breeding shed. The idiot contemporary actor/owner wanted it sprayed as a weed <img src="images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />.

#18933 - 09/06/03 09:23 AM Re: Local wild food?
WOFT Offline

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 391
Loc: Cape Town, South Africa
With regards to acorns: prepare them properly. they are too bitter to swallow (we all learn from our mistakes!)

I have a strange habit of sampling, umm, natural food whenever I go outdoors. I use the 'taste test' desribed in the SAS Survival Manual, and I havn't contracted a bug or food poisening (yet <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />).

Anyway, I think that a good book, a similarly keen friend, and a willingness to experiment with local wild food will make it very fun.
'n Boer maak 'n plan

#18934 - 09/06/03 01:25 PM Re: Local wild food?

So far my house mate has made some 'cough syrup' (cook up the berries and some sugar together). It makes a great hot drink when boiling water is added! <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
The rest have been frozen pending new recipes.

#18935 - 09/06/03 01:29 PM Re: Local wild food?

I originally come from North Wales (near Anglesey, last home of the Druids, and home to some of the new Druids) and have a very funny mental image....

#18936 - 09/06/03 01:31 PM Re: Local wild food?

Thanks to all for all the suggestions!

#18937 - 09/18/03 01:38 PM Re: Local wild food?
Casual_Hero Offline
new member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 134
Loc: England & Saudi Arabia

The SAS Guide and Ray Mears are OK, but the book you must absolutely get is "Food for Free" by Richard Mabey, published by Collins.
It's UK / Europe based has been constantly in print with eleven revisions since 1972 and lists all manner of wild foods and recipes. The photos are superb - and best of all they've just bought out a pocket version of it that I snapped up immediately.

Good Luck, Scott
In the end, all you have left is style...


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