My daughter, Lili has medical finals looming but she was easily distracted from her books to jaunt in the warm Easter sunshine
After three weeks of pickings we've yet to tire of cooking with wild garlic. In honesty it's a joy to any lazy cook who loathes messing about with the papery skin which encases cloves of garlic.
Violets aren't always easy to see; perhaps this is why the Victorians associated the flower with modesty - the shrinking violet. I've often found them under the leaves of less bashful celandines. Once located, there is usually a mate or two on the patch.
Wild garlic is peeping up amongst the snowdrops in the woods behind our Angus house. When the cattle return to a ajoining woodland field, it always brings a smile to my face as I am minded of the tainted butter in Hardy's tale of Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
Hearing the peel of a snipe from a moorland ditch is a celebration of life, a confirmation that we haven't destroyed the planet completely. It leaves me bewildered as to why the hell you would want to slice the beaky little thing in two and serve it, brains and guts and all, on toast?
Whether you prefer foraging, cooking or the simple pleasure of 'growing your own', an edible hedge is the perfect way to enjoy fresh food for free. Edible hedges can provide a wide variety of fruits, nuts and herbs, and all it takes is a quick trip to the back garden to top up your supplies.
Seaweed is associated with the Chinese New Year but it is an ingredient that I use at Hogmanay. It is readily accessible to coastal foragers or in dried form online and from food stores.
The cones are smaller than other pines and have interesting distinctive 'tongues' that protrude between the cone scales. If you can't forage pine needles, fresh rosemary will also work in this Christmas cookie recipe.
I was recently taking a break while working alone in the woods, it was completely silent and still. Suddenly, the whole area of 'just trees' became alive - a wren started foraging in front of me, a robin starting singing to me from about a metre away.
On our visit to the area, we were already off to a good start: we had a superb meal at Wild & Co in Windermere, a new restaurant