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Showing posts from February, 2016

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum).

'What did the Romans ever do for us' is a phrase synonymous with the UK. Many ancient tribes, cultures and societies have landed on these shores and settled here. Some came with peaceful intentions and others not so (the Romans). Contrary to what is/was reported, there are many members of these various tribes still scattered around the UK. Not only did they leave their genetic imprints behind but also many a plant. I'm not going to delve into the 'horrors of histories past' but I am going to delve into one of the plants of histories past.

Smyrnium olusatrum or as it is more commonly known, Alexanders, is a member of the Apiaceae or Carrot family. Native to the Meditteranean region, it was apparently introduced by the Romans (ta da!) and used widely & extensively as a fodder crop, pot herb and vegetable (all parts are edible and tasty), until it fell out of favour and was superseded by celery. Given the Romans occupied much of the UK, both inland and coastal ar…

Float By Boat: Foraging & Floating on the Shropshire Union Canal

Foraging and wild food Posted by  on Jun 4, 2015
The emerald-lined waterways thread seams of intact flora and fauna where man’s manipulation is at a minimum.  Wild plants and animals flourish more freely here than in built-up or agricultural areas, making canals ideal places to forage for edible wild plants and fungi. Searching for wild food is a skill that requires attention to detail, patience and a slow pace. It is not so dissimilar to meditation. In fact the two complement each other beautifully. All this said, perhaps it isn’t so surprising that Float by Boat joined up with Craig from Edible Leeds to host a unique foraging holiday. Everyone arrived just before lunch on Monday 1st June in the quaint canalside village of Audlem on the Shropshire Union canal. It was raining lightly and stormy winds were predicted for later on that day. It felt more like March than June but our small group of floating foragers were undeterred and eager for the adventures that lay ahead. Conversati…