Soon we’ll be entering what’s known as the hungry gap (which lasts from March to May), when cultivated local veg are scarce. We’ll be relying mainly on stored roots and squash from last year, or on imported veg.
But look a bit closer and even this early in the growing season you can find good things to forage, if you know what to look for. It seems to make sense to forage at least some of our food, which is often denser in nutrients than imported options. And freshly foraged greens just taste full of vitality.
(Photo top to bottom: ground ivy, 3-cornered leek, nettle tops (left), dandelion (right), cleavers)
Here are a few that are commonly found, and some of these you might find growing in your lawn or the edges of your allotment, as I just did, for this photo (for lunch). As always, be sure to pick these from places away from pollution and dog routes.
Cleavers these are just getting going, & you can add a few small leaves to a salad.
Gorse flowers they smell & taste of coconut, and they flower all year, eat raw.
Nettles new tender growth coming along now. I like to blanch them & eat as veg or add to omelettes.
Ground Ivy slightly pungent, good in salads in small amounts, makes a lovely tea.
Dandelion young leaves are less bitter than the bigger ones. Your liver will love you.
3 Cornered Leek a vigorous grower, the whole plant is edible, raw or lightly blanched.
Chickweed a delicate little salad plant that grows in forgotten places, all year round if sheltered. A personal favourite.