We cannot wait to welcome Garry Eveleigh, also known as The Wild Cook to Daylesford for a special Wild & Foraged cookery school course on Thursday 21st April, along with our own resident forager Tim Field. Places are still available and booking essential! 

Here, Garry shares his thoughts on nature’s larder at this time of year.

Spring is springing, the lean foraging months are behind us and the first vibrant green shoots of hawthorn bushes are beginning to appear on the seemingly naked hedgerows; a sure sign that early spring salads will soon be readily available.

As the daylight hours lengthen the first butterflies make their fleeting appearances – bright yellow Brimstones, colourful Red Admirals, Tortoiseshells and Peacocks. In order to attract a mate these stunning gladiators will quite literally fight for the sunniest positions in the warming spring air. The mere sight of two butterflies circling each other as they spiral upwards is a sight to behold with the winner floating back to his sunny position in the hope that a female was sufficiently impressed enough to join him.

Duelling butterflies is a sure sign for foragers that its time to keep eyes peeled for an early feed of wild oyster mushrooms sprouting in profusion (if you’re lucky) through the bark of fallen beech trees. Just before the spring vegetation grows too tall this spring feast can be easily spotted from some distance.

I’ve been gathering three-cornered garlic since late December, but now, as the grass-like leaves begin to turn yellow it is almost past its best but fear not, the strong aroma of garlic will soon fill the air as ramsons burst into life. ­Eaten raw in salads, gently wilted and used as a garlicky spinach substitute or blitzed into a vivid green spring pesto, wild ramson is a forager’s heaven. Oh yeah and when they appear; the unopened flowering buds make a delicious topping or garnish and their sweet, succulent garlic flavour is divine when added to a spring stir fry. I love spring.

Join us at Daylesford on Thursday, 21 April for ‘Wild & Foraged’ to learn more about what makes a perfect spring day for the wild cook. For more information click here!