I had a busy week and its taken me a while to even find the time to finish all my tasks and jobs and get back to blog about it Ill start with last Sunday, it is officially the start of the week apparently so why not?
On Sunday I met local ‘ledge’ Patrick Harding. I am now his number one fan. I have 2 signed copies of his books, I am booking on his natural history Christmas talk (which he is kind of famous for, the BBC like it) and Im badgering the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to get him back for a talk on medicinal plants. Patrick did a fungi foray and talk at the potteric carr reserve in Doncaster for us.
We had a talk inside and learned about key identifying features of mushrooms, which are becoming increasingly familiar everyday one of the best things about this course was gaining the confidence that what I have been learning is (mostly) correct, maybe some things I have worried about a bit more than necessary but these things had nothing to do with actually eating anything, cant be too careful there.
I am now much more confident using phrases such as ‘decurrent gills’
we found a couple of bolettes and ‘the miller’ (smells of raw pastry/fresh flour, some sulphar knights which were infintely less pleasurable to fill your nostrils with. Stump puffballs, somejelly ear, plenty of bracket fungus and some web caps, we also found a little mushroom commonly mistaken for a wood blewit, which isnt. This is less common than the wood blewitt so it was good to see it up close wioth an expert and now be able to tell people ‘oops no that isnt a wood blewit because you can see its brown spores for one thing’. Wood blewits are very abundant and popular here.
This is one of my favourite photos from the day, who cares if they’re edible or not? (they’re too small anyway) there is joy in observing and learning, taking time to notice little details. This is the beauty of fungus.
It was wonderful to meet Patrick and to spend time in the beautiful surroundings of Potteric carr nature reserve. Afterwards I struggled to get a taxi, I rang 4 different numbers, and a lady in the gift shop offered me a ride. How cool was that? It was that kind of a day 🙂 Topped off by a run at sunset with eldest boy.
Monday was spent catching up on a bit of rest, spending more time outdoors with my little man. Bathing away the aches of running too far etc
Tuesday we made bunting with the Doncaster Irish association as a part of a lottery funded community project to celebrate the Irish connections with the town. We reused vintage fabrics.
You may be aware that I have an Irish mother and my grandmother was too. In the about section there is more on this and why it is particularly important to me to know and celebrate where I am from.
When we returned we looked at the pretty colours and leaves in the garden and took some photographs
Before bedtime I whipped up a snack of foraged hazelnuts and saved some in a jar of local honey. I have blogged the recipe in the foraging nuts blog
Wednesday I made a bit more progress with the wine from foraged rosehips and blackberries
and organised some cupboard space for seeds and teas from this year
Thursday we had a new (old, new to us) sofa gifted from a friend as it was being thrown out
Inspired by the colour which I have found to be energising, I picked a little bunch of flowers from the garden
and I made some candles from leftover bits of used candles
Friday we had to do a bit of shopping, boo! On the way back we popped in to the woodland at the end of the street to see if we could see any interesting mushrooms since it has been raining the past few days
There was nothing terribly exciting.
I also made some chestnut purees, one of which I was intending to take to our dinner club meeting (a get to gether about sustasinable food and planning in a social environment for a PAYF/transitions cafe) on Saturday night. The recipe for chestnut and rum preserve is on this blog in the foraging nuts post.
Saturday was a day of a bit more baking, chestnut mushroom and ale pies; the recipe is on this blog, in the foraging mushrooms
More importantly we had our second very succesful meeting around sustainable food, we take turns to host a dinner party, and serve our guests a menu based on what we have gleaned, foraged, grown, and sourced for free that would likely otherwise go to waste. We use the time socially to get to know one another and to build up a list of contacts and skills to put to use. The salad of warm beets and blue cheese was awesome!
We loved Josephine recycled washing machine drum firepit!