The bulrush or cattail is another winner for the foragers arsenal. Full of carbohydrates which gives you energy.
It’s better to eat the younger shoots, when white to a light shade of green, they can be eaten raw. The older they get, the more they become fibrous and need cooking. The tops and old leaves are best chopped off and thrown away as they are unpalatable. As a rule, the whiter they are, the more tasty they are, ranging from white to yellowy green, eaten raw or cooked.Through to green, which should be cooked.
The rhizomes (roots) can be eaten raw or dried out and made into flour, or cooked. Dig up rhizomes and eat the thicker parts. They will need washing and scrape the outer brown skin off. Leaving a soft white vegetable, which is delicious raw with its unique flavour, it’s out on its own.
The buds, when green can be eaten raw and are really good in salads. Their starchy flavour may not be to everyone’s taste but mixed up with other foraged salads, surprising flavoursome.
Scrape the pulse off the buds, and eat this.
Leaving an inedible tube inside, along with the outer leaves, discard this.
Wash the mud off the roots and eat them like this, raw very tasty in salads.
Abundant everywhere there is water, along rivers, in lakes and ponds. They are a filter plant so care is needed as to where they are gathered. Don’t be taking them from a stagnant pond, or by a sewage outlet, or by a nuclear power station. Dirty industrial estates too are a no go, anything that pollutes the water.
Some humans consider them a pest and they will take over once established, but cultivated on a small holding, they will supply you with food for a good part of the year. Ready to pick form spring though to winter.
The discarded pieces and the plant as a whole can be used for building shelters, and the flower heads can be used for fire starters.
Rinse and drain the bulrush/cattail root, and slice thinly.
Scrape the pulse of young buds off stalk with a knife.
Cut up foraged leaves.
Place in bowl.
Add the flowers, petals and seeds.
Chickweed, and other
Combine the oil, vinegar and herbs & spices well then toss through salad.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt over salt and enjoy.