foraging in the garden

I know that foraging is meant to be in the wild, hunting around to find delicious ingredients. But that’s what it feels like in our garden at the moment. The calendula, nasturtiums and borage are so pretty but rampant, that you have to look hard before stumbling across some garlic. Handfuls of rocket would take a novice a bit longer, but they may strike lucky with a few blueberries on the way. When I say a few, the honest truth is three or four a day – I know, what should I do with them all?

Foraging in the garden

Like foraging in the wild, it’s very rewarding though to head off into the wild tangle of pretty plants that’s my garden at the moment and return to the kitchen with the ingredients for a tasty pesto or curry. And plenty of flowers to fill a jug.

Some things are actually in rows – I’m very happy with the mass of lime green chard that looks so vibrant and healthy. Particularly as it’s next to the peas that aren’t exactly in abundance at the moment. The pea shoots are delicious in salads though.

But with so much of our money going on pig food and vets fees these days (immunisations for Mog and Tiger this week plus microchips so we don’t have unwelcome visitors through the catflap) I’m loving the frugal meals that the garden is providing.

Foraging in the garden

Some may wonder where the veg plot is, but I know where to look for the bright yellow courgettes that are just finger sized and at their tastiest. Or for a bunch of coriander to add to the pink fir apple potatoes (yes, they’re in rows, even Guy knows where they are), garlic and chard for a curry. If you rummage around below the quince tree, the scarlet little wild strawberries are evident, great sprinkled on yoghurt with a little honey.

I’ve decided to plant some of the rapidly spreading wild strawberries just in front of the line of lavender that I look out on from the kitchen window. Hopefully they’ll trail over the low wall, providing easy pickings as well as looking pretty. And I plan to plant up the runners from the normal strawberries in a big area around the plum tree, edging it with more lavender. Hope this doesn’t mean I’m moving towards too much order.

Because I was looking at Ruby and a friend amusing themselves in the garden today and it reminded me how much pleasure there’s to be had in feeling we’re uncovering things. Ruby had spotted Tiger playing with a potato the other day and she decided to ‘hunt’ for a few more for him. The two scamps ‘found’ a trowel I’d abandoned in a corner of the garden, but judging by the muddy hands later, tools hadn’t been needed in unearthing the tubers. Keeping my distance so I didn’t disturb their fun, I only discovered later that they’d trampled on the leeks I’d recently planted. But they were feeble leeks anyway, I have lots more, and who cares when it was because of a bit of muddy foraging.

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