About Rachel Lambert BA, MA, IBMTdip
Wild Food Tutor, Forager, Award-Winning Author, Photographer, Cook, Creator
I have been teaching foraging since 2007, yet my wild food journey started over 25 years ago. I came to foraging late in life, having done little more than get messy, sticky and full with blackberries as a child.
At aged 22 the epiphany moment came: friends introduced me to Pennywort – a thirst-quenching plant growing in a stonewall - and my world changed forever. Almost overnight I realised I was surrounded by food and medicine, and that every plant had a use and purpose.
Since then I have learnt from many skilled nature teachers and found that foraging brought together many things I loved. From walking, nature, plants, food, the senses, the great outdoors, nature awareness to creative cooking. Though perhaps my twenty-year-old self wouldn’t have been able to articulate it quite like that – I just loved it.
In 2007 I felt I knew enough to start teaching foraging. My background working in environmental education and community health promotion (MA) meant I was comfortable leading walks and facilitating outdoors. I was using wild food daily and knew how to pick sensitively and responsibly from the hedgerows and the shoreline.
Those humble and organic beginnings still underlie everything I do. I've now taught thousands of people, yet pride myself in keeping courses personal, small and practical. I’ve written two books on foraging and cooking, one of which won a Gourmand World Cookbook award. I continue to pull recipes apart and recreate them with a wild twist.
On that note, I have a confession: I was brought up in a sugar-laden household of homemade cakes, drinks and ice lollies where I developed a 'natural' sweet-tooth. Applying this to create wild desserts is endless fun and I've coined #sweetwilds to share my successes.
My approach to foraging is also informed by my training in nature awareness and somatics (IBMTdip) - soma means to experience the body from within. Being aware that I am part of nature and a cog in a natural eco-system helps me understand the inter-relationships between us all. Treading lightly on the earth is a natural progression from this. #mindfulwildforager
Finally, I've omitted to tell you that my original background is in the arts (BA). Although I'm deeply practical, a creative approach to life is what makes me want to get up in the mornings. My arty-ness may well slip into my teaching style, what I cook on courses and more recently, in creating foraging songs. Songs that celebrate the plants, their characters and qualities - it's a joy to write, refine and share them. #singingforager
To me, foraging is a fun and enlivening way to appreciate the environment and access to fresh, seasonal food. It's also an excuse for outdoor adventures, as well as quirky and labour of love investigations in the kitchen. I hope to share some of this journey with you.