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Adele Nozedar, author of The Hedgerow Handbook gives us an insight into the magical world of foraging and how she became involved in this unusual hobby, which is growing in popularity.
Adele with two young foragers-in-the-making.

Adele with two young foragers-in-the-making.

As some of you might know, after the publication of a book that I wrote a couple of years ago (The Hedgerow Handbook), I was asked to take people out foraging during the Hay Festival. I was a bit hesitant at first because I assumed that I wouldn’t actually have a whole lot of information that people didn’t have already; after all, everyone knows precisely what our most common wild plants can do, right? Well, after that first scary ten days, I discovered (to my relief) that actually, I seemed to know more than I’d realised about the plants that are so common that we hardly even see them (nettles, dandelions, daisies – yes, THAT ordinary and yet SO special!)

Since then I’ve travelled all over the UK, and I’ve met hundreds of people that have come walking with me, every single one of them lovely and interested and inspiring. And I’ve been asked lots of times how I got into this whole ‘foraging’ malarkey.

(Actually, I’m not keen on the word ‘foraging’ for several reasons, but that’s another story. If you can think of something else to call it then do let me know!)

Nature’s larder has so much to offer

Nature’s larder has so much to offer

I moved to Wales some 20 years ago and, cutting a long story short, had to learn to cook pretty sharpish. Discovered that I loved the cooking (although I can’t be bothered following recipes most of the time) but loathed the food shopping. So, having become acquainted with wimberries (Wales does these little wild berries better than anywhere else in the world) and already used to picking copious quantities of blackberries, even when I lived in a city, it wasn’t much of a leap to start looking at what else was growing in the field margins and hedgerows. It didn’t rule out the supermarket shop but it gave me a wider and more interesting range of ingredients. I started inventing and collecting recipes, and best of all I had a captive audience keen to try anything I dished up. Then I became a writer, sort of by accident, and about 6 years after my first book came out, a publisher was interested enough to pick up the idea for The Hedgerow Handbook. So now, apparently, I’m a forager!

I’ll be leading walks from Book-ish during the Summer so if you fancy coming along, we’ll be posting updates in all the usual places!

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