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#825712 - 18th Sep 2013 6:25pm Foraging Advice
Uffda Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 2nd Jan 2011
Posts: 508
Loc: Wallasey Village
Does anyone have any foraging / wild flower knowledge they would be willing to share?
I'm into foraging and making herbal remedies at the moment and would like to make some Elderberry and Ginger Cold And Flu Tonic from James Wong's book (as everyone on the train was coughing and sneezing around me yesterday).
I can identify the most common stuff like elderberries etc but one of the ingredients is meadowsweet flowers. I've googled the images but am not totally confident of identifying the correct plant. The meadowsweet flower kind of looks like hemlock flowers and I really don't want to make that mistake!
If anyone can help, I'd be happy to trade knowledge for jam or some of the tonic.

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#825821 - 18th Sep 2013 9:24pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Uffda]
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
I bought 'Food for Free' by Richard Mabey 2yrs ago and swear by it. It opened my eyes to things I normally walk past that can be eaten. It's very small so fits easily in a pocket. I also bought the Mushroom one by Patrick Harding to go with it as that's definitely one you don't want to get wrong!
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#825843 - 18th Sep 2013 10:42pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Uffda]
fish5133 Online   content
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2816
Loc: Heswallish
about 20 years ago i got Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls book a Cook on the wild side which has lots of good advice plus recipes.

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#825846 - 18th Sep 2013 11:01pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Wench]
tedmus Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 4th Oct 2010
Posts: 196
Loc: Wallasey Village
Originally Posted By: Wench
I bought 'Food for Free' by Richard Mabey 2yrs ago and swear by it. It opened my eyes to things I normally walk past that can be eaten. It's very small so fits easily in a pocket. I also bought the Mushroom one by Patrick Harding to go with it as that's definitely one you don't want to get wrong!


I may just get this book, cheers for the recommendation :}

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#825895 - 19th Sep 2013 9:38am Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Uffda]
Moonstar Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 2nd Jul 2011
Posts: 1240
Loc: Wirral
Lots of dried meadowsweet available out there.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=buy+dried+meadowsweet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&gws_rd=cr&ei=07c6UubHJ6ej0QXT0IFI

However, I think meadow flowers are over for this year for foraging.

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#825971 - 19th Sep 2013 2:42pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Moonstar]
Cobby Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 28th Nov 2009
Posts: 139
Loc: Great Sutton
Moonstar is right, you'd be very lucky to find any meadowsweet still flowering, they usually flower through the summer and are over by early September.

But for future reference, the flowers of meadowsweet and hemlock are really very different. Meadowsweet flowers in a fluffy cloud, with irregular flowerheads containing hundreds of tiny flowers. It also smells very sweet.


Hemlock flower heads are much more regular, forming "umbels" (like umbrellas) where individual flowers grow in clusters at the end of stalks which all radiate out from a single point at the end of the stem.

Looking at the images available on the web, a lot of the hemlock flowers are pictured from above, so the difference is less obvious.

The leaves are also very different. Meadowsweet has serrated leaves growing in pairs up the stalk, with three or five leaves being fused together to make the terminal leaf and the end of the stalk.

Hemlock leaves are very deeply cut, lacy and fern-like.

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#826275 - 20th Sep 2013 4:37pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Cobby]
Uffda Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 2nd Jan 2011
Posts: 508
Loc: Wallasey Village
Thanks for all your advice. I've just ordered the Mabey book second hand on Amazon. I think I'll leave out the Meadowsweet flowers and just make the tonic without it and look out for the flowers next year.

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#826283 - 20th Sep 2013 5:03pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Uffda]
Greenwood Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 20th May 2011
Posts: 594
Loc: Greasby
I think there's something related to aspirin in meadowsweet. Always check out the active constituents of any plant you use, in case there might be a problem with allergies, reactions to existing medications etc.

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#827144 - 23rd Sep 2013 9:46pm Re: Foraging Advice [Re: Uffda]
Sallybear Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 5th Apr 2009
Posts: 587
Loc: Wirral
Hi Uffda me and my other half are always on the look out for local foregers in the area, we don't have much experience or skill but are learning as we go along, and we go for walks regularly so feel free to drop us a message when you're free.

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