Foraging Courses Sussex
We are based in Worthing and run a range of seasonal foraging courses through a variety of habitats in Sussex, from woodlands and coasts to salt marshes and heaths. We teach the uses of edible plants, fungi, seaweeds and shellfish and how to locate and identify them. We place an emphasis on sustainability and on the species to avoid.
All wild edibles have many uses from nutrition to medicines and crafting to survival, we will cover as many of these areas as possible for each species and include some of the much loved mythology behind their ancient uses.
As a forager we instinctively immerse in the custodianship of the land, at the start of our courses we will cover the basics of foraging, the rules to follow and any particular conservation principles specific to the area. Following this we'll explore the habitats and species we find, usually finishing with a taster session of some of the wild foods.
We also offer a selection of specialist and bespoke courses for businesses, parties, special occasions, stag and hen do's and foraging for kids. Please make an enquiry through our contacts page to discuss any bespoke courses you have in mind.
A key element to foraging. One of the primary principles of foraging is only eat wild foods that have been identified with 100% certainty. Numerous plants and fungi can be notoriously difficult to identify and easily confused with poisonous and toxic lookalikes. Identification is an art and it takes practice, patience and caution. There are some great resources to get people started on the basics of identification. If you are particularly new to foraging I would strongly recommend gaining some experience with foraging guides as the hands on practical experience will give you a great start to your foraging adventure.
Mindfulness & Nature Connection
Foraging is as much about nature connection as it is enjoying the wild foods. Foraging brings serenity, there's something about wondering peacefully in nature looking for our own wild foods that reattunes us to our ancestral roots, reacquainting ourselves to our primal instincts. Taking time out from the fast pace and high demands of modern society to immerse in the tranquillity of nature is something everyone should be making time for. We are connected to nature, not separated from it, albeit our modern lives are moving us further away from this connection, it's up to us to restore it.
One of the benefits of our foraging courses is the mindfulness and nature connection techniques taught through an ancient philosophy I've been practicing over the last decade. These simple teachings can be quite subliminal at times, the skills learnt through them are transferable and can be applied in all aspects of life, they are a gift you"ll be able to take everywhere with you. They also strengthen your observations techniques for a better connection to your surrounding environments and better your focus on listening to your body when experiencing wild foods.
Ok its not all wild! But we can certainly improve the quality of the foods we eat by foraging. For some people it's about the intense flavours and high quality produce provided by nature, others it may be about the food being organic, locally and sustainably sourced or the density of nutrition and higher medicinal values of wild food. Whatever your personal reasons, there is certainly a growing appetite for wild foods, so much so that many top chefs and restaurants pay well over the odds prices to be able to serve wild foods on their menus.
Many of the flavours of wild foods are exquisite and the quality of the food is something that is fit for gourmet restaurants. With the ever changing seasons comes variety from mushrooms, nuts and seeds in the Autumn to shellfish, flowers and greens in the spring, there is always something flavoursome, fresh and new to put on the plate and with a little art your plate can be decorated to look as beautiful as a bouquet.
The picture is my vegan take on the Chinese style battered salt and pepper chilli prawns... vegan battered salt and pepper chilli jelly ears.
All edible wild foods hold medicinal properties, some of the foods are primarily used for just that, as nutrition, which is medicinal in itself. Our culture's diet is generally lacking in quality organic foods that are packed with nutrition, where better to source organic nutritional foods from than in nature.
Other foods are used predominantly for energetic purposes, an example of this is tea, we usually use tea, coffee etc to enhance our energy levels, most of which are not that great for us, you can easily replace these products with wild foods, cleavers for example is caffienated and increases energy levels or perhaps relaxation is what you seek, this can be found in plants such as wild chamomile or mayweeds.
Generally eating wild foods you are going to enhance your all round immune system, specific issues can often be remedied fully or to some extent by including specific wild foods that contain compounds designed to target the problems you are experienceing. I often talk about my personal experiences with remedying illnesses, some chronic, on our foraging walks.
By using wild foods to improve your health you will be taking greater independence in managing your own wellbeing.