Making Raised Beds

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 Choose a patch of land the you want to reclaim and cut back, the shrub , trees, and other vegetation.
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 Dig up the roots and any other plants are in the ground, and dig down a foot or so.
Look at where the rain will fall, depending on your micro climate, you may want to direct the rainfall towards the center of the beds.
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  When the prep is being carried out remember to shape the land for the rain. Dig trenches pointing towards the garden, as a rule of thumb, try to dig uphill. Then lay down the sheets of whatever comes to hand, in this photo, a roll of pond liner has been used.
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 Take care not to leave dips where, little  ponds will gather, so if it does rain then there is always a low point to the garden and excess water can run off the garden and not flood it. 
making raised beds
raised bed
Use old pallets, tree branches, rocks, floor boards, anything you can find and make a fame. Then fill the frame with whatever is to hand, making layers; the more that is put into the layers the better the results, but if nothing is to hand just fill it with the soil which has already been dug out.
  1. The first layer consisting of some old clothing, cotton or wool are best because they are natural and compost down over time.
  2. Then a layer of good manure, this can be of well rotted animal waste, like chicken or horse shit, or from a compost that has been made, to make green manure,like a bed of rotted nettle leaves, or a grass compost.
  3. Add some straw and scraps from the kitchen and mix, into the manure softly, as to break up the chucks of manure.
      4. Fill the soil back into the bed slightly mixing the soil, and start planting.

 Land has been shaped to catch the rain fall. The trenches have been dug to catch the rain fall coming downhill, but the main flood trench digs back uphill.

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Homegrown, foraged Salad

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Chickweed Leaves.

Swiss chard stalks.
Tomato.

Olive oil.

Mustard leaves.

Mint Leaves.

Nasturtium flowers and seeds.

Marigold flowers.

Vinegar.

Salt.

 

Instructions

Rinse and drain, the foraging’s.

Thinly cut roots, stalks and leaves.

Place in bowl.

Combine the oil, vinegar and mustard well then toss through salad.

Add petals, flowers,  and seeds.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt over salt and enjoy.

A salad with the fresh, unique flavour of a tasty wild green.

Burdock

This little beauty is great, the roots can be dug up and cooked, soups and stews are good for it. Even part boiled and used in stir fries, or roast them like you would do parsnips. The young leaves can eaten cooked.

Grows just about everywhere, along hedgerows, in open fields in urban and rural areas alike. It can be found all over the world. burdock

Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear. The stalks are thoroughly peeled, and either eaten raw, or boiled in salt water.

Bulrush/Cattail

bulrush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

young bulrush with roots

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.

Instructions

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.

Fuchsia Flower

fuchsia

Fuchsias are generally a cultivated plant, so really good for city and town foraging, found in gardens and the odd one or two in the wild.

All fuchsia fruit are edible and you can eat the flowers too.

Berries should be plump, smooth and fairly easy to twist off the stem.

Wash the fruit and prepare it as you would like.

Harvest flowers when fully open. Use the petals as a salad, garnish or frozen inside ice cubes for a pretty party drink.

Eating fuchsia berries and flowers adds Vitamin C and many other nutrients to the table while brightening up all your dishes.

One of the more popular things to do with the berries is to make it into a spreadable jam. The method is the same as most other berry jams.

You can also bake them into scones, muffins, cakes and more. Top them over pancakes or ice cream or add them to a fruit salad. Their mildly tart-sweet flavor brightens up meat dishes as a chutney.

They also are great for just eating out of hand as a gardener’s/forager’s handy snack.

Pick the flowers and snip the little green bit, from the end of the bud. Toss into an already made mix of salad. check recipe on at the bottom of Chickweed

Garlic Mustard

garlic mustard

Garlic Mustard is a biennial herb that has been labeled an invasive weed in many areas.

Grows anywhere, and everywhere, along hedgerows, in wooded areas, open fields. Urban or rural areas.   Leaves are great in salads.

Originally from Europe, this nutritious plant is found in many locations across North America.

The flower of this wild edible only appears from May to June. Garlic Mustard is good for your weight, heart, lowers cholesterol, may help prevent cancer, as well as many other health benefits.

Chickweed

chickweed Chickweed grows in urban and rural areas, in a wide variety of habitats and soil textures. It is one of the most common weeds founds in lawns but it also grows well in, in gardens, cultivated fields, pastures, waste areas and in some deciduous forests. This plant occurs in many countries.

 Chickweed leaves are used by adding them raw to salads and sandwiches.

They can be put into soups and stews as well. When adding to a cooked dish, the stems and flowers can be used also.

Just watch out for the dog piss, when foraging.

Recipes 

Buttered Chickweed

The freshness of chickweed combined with the healthy goodness of onions make this a great side dish to serve at the dinner table.

Ingredients

chopped chickweed

one onion finely chopped

Butter

 Salt

Pepper

 

Instructions

Wash chickweed thoroughly. Place in boiling salted water. Cook only for only two to three minutes, drain well. (Reserve liquid to make a tea or use to make rice.)

Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan. Sauté the onion until translucent then add chickweed. Add salt, pepper or any other spices you may enjoy.

Chickweed Salad (homegrown salad).

A salad with the fresh, unique flavour of a tasty wild green.
salad19-10-18

Ingredients 

Chickweed Leaves.

Swiss chard stalks.
Tomato.

Olive oil.

Mustard leaves.

Mint Leaves.

Nasturtium flowers and seeds.

Marigold flowers.

Vinegar.

Salt.

Instructions

Rinse and drain foraging. Thinly cut Swiss chard, mustard leaves. Place in bowl.

Combine the oil, vinegar and mustard well then toss through salad. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over salt and enjoy.

Add Marigold petals, fuchsia flowers, nasturtium flowers and seeds.

A salad with the fresh, unique flavour of a tasty wild green.

Foraged Chickweed salad

Ingredients

Chickweed leaves.
Wild garlic root.

Bulrush/Cattail root.

Mustard leaves.

 Mint.

Nasturtium flowers and seeds.

Pinch of salt.
Coconut oil, or olive oil.
Vinegar, doesn’t matter variety.

 

 

Instructions

Rinse and drain chickweed. Thinly cut wild garlic root, bulrush/cattail root. Place in bowl. add the flowers and seeds of the nasturtium, fuchsia flowers, nettles, chickweed, and other foraged leaves.

Combine the oil, wine vinegar and mustard/ herbs & spices well then toss through salad. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over salt and enjoy.