Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

A Day Off Foraging!

A short video about foraging in Autumn and talking about how I got into foraging, the benefits and how to get started. This was a fun video to make on a rainy, Cornish morning and is perfect if you're new to foraging.

Discover my answers to the following general questions about foraging;

How did I get into foraging?

I met lots of interesting people in my twenties who knew a lot about foraging that they were happy to share with me. I just thought it was great; nature, walking, food!

Foraging for wild rosehips near the coast in Cornwall

What led me to want to teach foraging and share this knowledge with others?

I've always taught in some capacity, and I think it's important to keep the knowledge of foraging alive, as we're at risk of loosing this skill.

Learning about foraging on a course with Rachel Lambert

What can people expect on a day out with me?

I offer public foraging courses and private forays which are tailored to each group. Though the basic format is this: We go on a leisurely wander and normally cover 8-10 wild foods; where to find them, how to identify them, recipe suggestions and their uses. Then we normally sit down and enjoy pre-made wild delights together.

How can you get started?

A good, basic rule is: If you're not sure what something is, leave it. There are poisonous plants around that are obviously best avoided. And remember to check who the landowner is as well.

Wild Food Foraging book cover

Are there any guides to picking the right things?

There's lots of information out there, so it's important that you choose your sources well. I've two pocket foraging books that you can use as practical wild food guides. It's also really helpful to have a foraging guide by your side.

Orang, edible sea buckthorn berries on a foraging course

What's the best thing I've ever found?

I don't think I have a favourite, but at the moment I'm enjoy sea buckthorn berries and sloe berries. Sea buckthorn berries are a wonderfully sharp, sour fruit and perfect for Sea buckthorn curd and to swirl in Sea buckthorn cheesecake.

A basket of sloe fruits on a foraging course

When's the best time to go foraging?

Anytime really. Spring is best for leaves and shoots, Summer for flowers and berries and Autumn for fruits, nuts, seeds, roots and fungi. Winter can be great here in Cornwall as it is mild and quiet and there's a great range of wild foods on offer too.

Leading a foraging course in Cornwall

How do I find good places to foraging things?

Good question! I suppose I walk a lot and wherever I walk there are things to pick. I just remember places and return in the right season to pick what I'd seen. For my foraging courses I generally choose circular routes that I've mapped out and checked several times too.

Picking sloes on a foraging walk in Cornwall

When do you know when a sloe is ready to pick?

When sloes are ready to pick when they're a lovely dark purple/black colour and have a bit of give when pressed. Ideally they are best after the first frost, as frost softens their skins and sweetens the flesh.

Homemade sloe tart made with foraged ingredients

What can you make with sloes?

Your classic is a Sloe Gin (recipe in my Wild Food Foraging book), but you can also make a Sloe syrup, which is thick and fruity and can be used to flavour my Sloe treacle tart.

Picking yarrow flowers in summer on a foraging course

Other wilds I mentioned;

I made a blackberry and yarrow tea using fresh blackberries and dried yarrow flowers. We also talked about elderberries and a deliciously spiced elderberry cordial.

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