LAURA CARTLEDGE: Food for thought and tasty lessons... a forager’s life is the one for me

FORAGING combines two of my favourite things – food and free.

In a world where labels are often larger than the portions, with ‘suitable for this’ and ‘may contain that’, there is something brilliantly simple about it.

Ok, so simple might not be the right word.

Afterall one wrong mushroom could be your last.

But in terms of heading to a hedgerow and turning tupperwares of blackberries into crumble it’s brilliantly easy.

And tasty.

Any more than that and the key is knowing your stuff, or knowing someone else who does.

It’s fascinating.

I went to an event at the weekend and now can’t look at woods or bushes in the same way – which has the added benefit of making being stuck in Sussex traffic jams a bit more interesting.

As well as having seen cider being pressed and rainbow rows of jams and chutneys, I got to see a pigeon turned into a sandwich.

No magic just the wave of a knife, a sizzle, drizzle of mustard between to slices of bread.

The chef explained he has been self sufficient for the last seven years. Imagine it.

No Sunday morning supermarket squash. Just tasty food without worries of where it came from or what it has been sprayed with.

If that fact alone wasn’t enough to have me Googling books on foraging, and trying to work out where my wellies are, tucking into a medlar cobbler would certainly do it.

Not heard of medlars? I hadn’t either.

Turns out it is unpopular for the same reason it’s remarkable – in that you have to let it rot a bit before you eat it.

I know, it’d make working out the ‘best before’ stamp a nightmare!

But what a rubbish reason that is to miss out on things...