With all the time working at home last week, I took the time to kit up and get out into one of my favourite woodlands. Georges Hayes, one of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves. For more info and directions to the site, please refer to the link below when travel restrictions are lifted from COVID19.
Whilst out exploring Georges Hayes, I was looking for early spring greens to harvest. These first wild spring greens are full of nutrients and very good for boosting the immune system, not to mention that while foraging for them you are exercising and getting your vitamin D fix. The greens that I was on the look out for are all very common species, that are relatively easy to identify. But it goes with out saying that before eating any wild foods, you must be positive with your ID, refer to multiple field guides and get a second opinion if needed. If in any doubt about your ID, don’t eat your foraged finds. It is also advisable, when trying new wild foods to only try a small amount first, as different people have different dietary sensitivity.
The greens I harvested on this visit were Stinging Nettle (just take the very tips of the plant, the first few leaves), Cleavers/Goose Grass, Jack by the Hedge/Hedge Garlic, and Ramsoms/Wild Garlic. All of these greens can be eaten raw but are much more palatable with some simple cooking (blanching or steaming). Ramsons are particularly good raw in a salad or sandwich but they are quite strong in flavour! They can also be used to make a garlic pickle or pesto.