Friday, 2 December 2011

Gone aforagin'

It's been a while since I've walked the range, but when you need some veg it's a good place to go. I added Sea Purslane to a salad for the first time, and there may have been an added flavour but my aged taste buds couldn't pick it out. I'll add more next time, and see if it improves.

Inspiration came from a couple of books by John Wright which cover seashore and fungi foraging in a highly entertaining style. I see from the local paper that a Deal author is launching a book on edible flowers, so that looks good as a stocking filler.

I don't need Sea Beet as the allotment is still producing copious amounts of spinach and chard, but I picked some small young leaves of Wild Cabbage, and was impressed.... they don't need much cooking, and tastle like, obviously, cabbage. A little Rock Samphire was gathered too, and new plants were seen in new places indicating that it's spreading.

The tougher Sea Kale, however, has shrunk back to its roots under the shingle but I may try blanching a plant or two, hopefully remembering where I've buried them.

There's little chance of damaging the plant populations, by the way, as

  • the plants are abundant here, as the rifle range returns to a natural state after MoD use;

  • I pick only a little from each plant, and

  • there's few others doing the same.

This was the chopping board after a bit of foraging, and it includes at least one species that shouldn't be eaten, as I discovered when I did some research. [It's the grey fungi which have almost covered the front lawn]

The addition of Mallow and Alexanders flowers in the salad was successful and decorative, and I'd recommend both of them.

The Parasol mushroom came from Sandwich Bay.....

..... and the Stump Puffballs from Kingsdown Wood.....

.... where Field Maple leaves delicately fell in the wind.

Other finds included Yellow Stainers [inedible]......

...and these two which I hope someone can identify, as they were very attractive.

This stuff found on the rifle range was weird - I'm not even sure it's a fungus.

And finally, a fungus exhibited last week seems to be Hericium coralloides, which is unusual in east Kent. In fact it may be the first record, with only a couple of sightings in west Kent over the years. It's called Coral Tooth fungus, and it's easy to see why.


Warren Baker said...

Think i'll stick to my pilchard sandwiches :-)

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Looks good on the chopping board , but even experts have mis ID'd fungi , and haven't lived to tell the tale !
Working from the bottom ,
Yes a type of fungus , in the Slime Mould family , Mucilago crustacea / Dog Sick Fungus .
The brown scaly one , Pholiota squarrosa / Shaggy Pholiota .
The top one , assuming it was sort of tea-dinner plate size , would offer Clitocybe geotropa , but would have liked to have seen the top of the cap to be sure .

Kingsdowner said...

Shame on you Warren, get out and forage while you're waiting form the next tick!

Fred, thanks for the dog-sick and shaggy, but I'm still not sure about the Clitocybe.

Frippery noodlings said...

Fascinating ... Top Blog marks in fact I hereby award you with 8,000 points ... do with them as you will. I have a saying (stolen from F. Solly) it is 'Blogs are boring' but yours never is. I think I will change 'the' saying to 'most Blogs are boring' perhaps?

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks Phil, I look forward to seeing you at the bay soon, to discuss the appearance of wormwood there.