Foragers can have a lean time of it over the cold winter months but as the days lengthen, and we hear the distinctive song of the skylark as it hoovers in flight, the forager can fill his or her basket with buds and wild spring greens. The March wind may blow but wild garlic works as well in a dumpling as a sushi style wrap.
Like a lot of Brits I'm leery about picking wild mushrooms. Hedgerow fruit, no problem. Wild garlic, absolutely. But in spite of the fact that I often picked field mushrooms with my dad when I was a child, I'm funny about funghi. Too many Agatha Christie novels at a formative age, perhaps, along with a yawning gap of ignorance...
Whilst more snuggle time is lovely, it doesn't always help you feel better. You and your children need exercise and fresh air to feel energised and time outdoors in daylight is very important for beating winter blues and helping tackle SAD. So how can you fight that urge to hibernate and keep those kids active outdoors instead?
I harvest wild edibles for my own breakfast, lunch and supper table. A little here, a little there, and never more than a sixth of what's on offer. I ensure that plenty is left for the birds and bees. Common sense dictates that picking every summer elderflower in sight, doesn't bode well for elderberries in the autumn.