Surely this is a dead time of year? What on earth could anyone find of interest in the wild food department? Well you might be surprised!
It will all depend on the weather but unless it is really cold – a layer of frost or snow – there will always be something available.
I tend to steer clear of any berries that are left over at this point given the pressures our feathered friends are under to survive the winter months. Berries that have survived until now will often be their last port of call especially on frosty days and you will see them disappear gradually as other sources like insects, worms and soft fruit become less available or non-existent.
While you are out about – especially near the coast - you should find these green giants:
Three cornered leek
It is sprouting in some areas that haven’t experienced too much frost. You will find small green shoots under bushes and in sheltered areas. You may even find whole bunches of it already growing that look like grass. I quick crush of the leaf or a cheeky nibble will confirm whether it is of the onion family or not. It may not be available further inland but by the coast here in South Dublin it is fairly widely available. If you happen to know it’s location from last year, you can also forage the bulbs.
Ah my strong-tasting parsley family friend…This may be the best time of year to harvest the green leaves. They are fresh and young and provide an interesting twist to broths and stews as well as a nice range of nutritional value. Click here for my Alexander recipe.
Jelly ear – see catalogue for photo