Last week Thursday, we met Sam Sender at the allotment and he took us on a mad foraging adventure around the area.
We were given little notepads in which to tape down leaf samples and add notes on the ways to differentiate sorrel from its poisonous look alike “Lords and Ladies”.
Here is a picture of sorrel:
Delicious, delicious sorrel… we have some growing at the allotment. It tastes like apple peel and can be used in your summery salads.
Its sneaky lookalike, “Lords and Ladies”, looks like this:
How do we differentiate them, you ask? The tails of the sorrel have a sharp edge, while Lords and Ladies’ tails are rounded. Also, the leaf of L&L is slightly waxy, which is not the case with sorrel. If you’re in doubt, follow the foraging rule of thumb, crush a leaf and smell it. If it’s nice and lemony, it’s probably sorrel. If you’re still in doubt…. don’t eat it. L&L is filled with calcium oxalate which are like little shards. Tasting some will burn your mouth and create swelling for a good 2 hours. Tested and (dis)approved.
We learnt about the different plants that commonly grow around here- meadowsweet, oxeye (oxide) daisies, nettles, sticky willy (!), garlic mustard, chickweed….
We even encountered England’s most fierce CARNIVOROUS PLANT!!!! the teasel trapping bubbly buzzers in its appealing pools – then digesting them whole.
What’s more? Here’s a wee collection of the day’s pictures. Credits go to Živilė Steniukynaitė for the quality photography!
I hoped you enjoyed yourself and learnt loads of new foraging tricks! Quick reminder to stay safe when foraging and to be smart about it all!
Thank you Chris for organising this- it was a real treat.
Keep up to date with us, parsnip lovers, we will be organising a bonfire night in the coming week! (probably over the weekend… details will be issued asap!)
Over and out –
Potato and Leeks.