Wisdom of the Wild

Spontaneous herbs according to seasons

Supermarkets and seasons do not really go together well. We want everything throughout the year, so vegetables travel quite a lot before being displayed on shelves. They necessarily need to be harvested ages before being sold as perfectly ripe and to be maintained appealing to the view with the help of not so appetising additives. This sadly means that their “vitality” and their nutritive value is practically close to zero.

This is why I love spontaneous herbs and fruits: they do not cheat, they can’t.

They grow making their way in the most unthinkable places respecting the timings Mother Nature is still allowed to impose. Some of them, beside being edible, also possess some distinctive and powerful healing properties. In the past, people were commonly aware of them, but we have simply lost trace of this knowledge.

Along the highways and byways…

Sometimes it happens that, by pure chance, I can spot them down the slopes that face the sea or along the highways and byways where the winds and the frequent british showers have spared them from the direct exposure to exhaust fumes. So I am confident to pick them, and a nice prolonged wash in water and a little sterilising fluid doesn’t hurt either.

So far, I have been able to find only a few of the herbs I used to pick in Italy. Dandelion – “Taraxacum officinale” – which the ancient popular wisdom consider a God-send, then “Chenopodium album”, better known as Goosefoot or Lamb’s Quarter, which is a delicious type wild spinach. And finally, “Silene Vulgaris” which is generally known in England as Bladder Campion from the shape of its flower’s calyx.

What I am still looking for…

I am still looking for other plants and my most wanted are the “Humulus Lupulus” – a wild hop – and “Clematis Vitalba” which is a wild climber. Also the leaves of wild Poppies are a delicacy – “Papaver rheas” – but I haven’t been able to find any, not even in crops before the harvest. I’m afraid that weed killers have done their job too well…

If any of you know about them, or have seen them somewhere, please let me know!

To save this subject from the automatisms of the blog’s timeline, I decided to dedicate this page to it, which probably won’t be the richest one of the website, but most certainly one of my dearest.

Search for all related subjects using the keywords “Wild Herbs”.

Click on the following links to know more…

Dandelion  – “Taraxacus officinale”

Wild Spinach – “Chenopodium Album”

Bladder Campion – “Silene Vulgaris”

Related post:

Wild herbs and almost lost wisdom

2 Responses to Wisdom of the Wild

  1. Jane Dale-beaumont November 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Hi, Great blog, There are tons of places where wild garlic grows around Wray/Hornby away from traffic . We have been collecting Samphire and cooking with it for years from Sunderland point, also got razor clams from there out of the gullies, tidal so freshened twice a day, lots of crabs mussels and of course cockles for free. I once found 2 lovely large Puff Ball mushrooms on a walk locally.At Basil Point by Sunderland Point we caught 11 large Flat fish in around an hour, lit a fire on the beach and ate fresh.

    • Marco November 6, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      That sounds simply amazing! Back in Italy, in my teens, I loved to fish myself! Puff Ball mushrooms, instead, do not grow in Italy,but I’ve been told they can become huge! Razor clams? can you pick them up in here? I believe in Italy they are protected!… and de-li-ci-ous (been told)…
      You sound like you are a real forager, Jane! BRAVISSIMA! 🙂

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