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February

Well here we are in the middle of February, Now the snow has gone we can start to see what plants are around already. Stinging nettles are still around and are a fantastic source of Vitamin A & C, Iron and especially Protein.

Nettles are so versatile, once they have been exposed to heat the tiny hairs on the nettles and the Formic acid which is injected into you when you get stung are both destroyed and are then safe to eat. You can boil them and eat them like spinach or simply heat them over an open flame till they wither then eat them.

Obviously if you have other ingredients like potatoes, onions and cream then Nettle soup is a popular dish. To gather Nettles always try to gather the young shoots which are only a few centimetres tall and be careful not to get stung.

As the Weather continues to improve more and more plants appear we will continue to add to the diary.

 

March

The good weather is really kick starting Spring into gear. The first couple of weeks of March is the time to get and start collecting Birch Sap.

Birch Sap is collected by drilling a hole into the trunk and leading the sap to the bottle by a plastic tube. You can easily collect 5 liters a day from an average sized tree. Birch sap has to be collected in early Spring before any green leaves have appeared, as in late Spring it becomes bitter.

There are many good reasons to collect and use birch sap – the most common uses are for beer, wine and syrup, but birch sap straight from the tree is reputed to be good for digestion, It also provides extra energy and nutrients, and can be helpful in treating hay fever. It is also said to be good applied externally to wounds and burns, being a sterile and cooling medium containing natural antiseptic properties

 

April

The  year is going by all too quickly and once again spring is upon us.

As the weather warms up new shoots are popping up all over the place. I have been out forging many times this year already and I am now seeing both of our native wild garlic plants in the hedgerow, Jack-by-the-hedge and Ramsons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramsons is usually found by smelling it before you actually see it, It favours damp soil and is easily recognisedby its long slender leaves and delicate white flowers, A superb addition to any stew or salad, The leaves have a delicate flavour while the unopened flower heads tend to be much stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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