Foraging book - The Forager’s Calendar by John Wright
- Credit: Archant
This foraging book by John Wright is great for newcomers to UK foraging and highlights seasonal foraging opportunities for every month of the year!
I would class myself as an amateur forager – I’m good for sloes, blackberries, crab apples, wild garlic and the types of mushrooms that are extremely easy to identify, such as the frilly, bright orange ‘chicken of the woods’. Foraging has slowly become a passion of mine and, thanks to a gift from a friend, I can now forage year-round with renewed confidence for a much wider range of species. The Forager’s Calendar is a matt-finish paperback, containing 399 pages of invaluable foraging advice from its author, the naturalist John Wright. It’s quite simply a great foraging book!
For me, the main attraction of this foraging book is that it is organised by month, so you can quickly flick through to the appropriate section to find what is currently in season, where you might find it, and how to identify it using descriptions and high-quality colour photographs. You can also search by species if you have a particular one in mind using the extensive index at the back of the book. It also contains extensive sections on safety, the law, conservation, kit, poisonous species, and ways to preserve your finds such as making fruit leather or bottling. I have already used the book to successfully find, identify, harvest and eat some delicious wild samphire, and will be consulting the relevant month prior to every walk I go on for the foreseeable future.
Foraging is not without its risks and disappointments – much like hunting and shooting – but if you do succeed, the reward is food that tastes unlike anything you could ever buy in a shop. I leave you with the words of the author himself in the introduction: “Hunters and gatherers. That is what we are, and nature rewards us, not just in the food these pursuits provide but also in the more fundamental form of rewarding our souls.”