Foraged Herbs Workshop

When you’re foraging for food and drink regularly, and doing your research on the things you find; It’s hard not to notice the medicinal properties of a lot of the plants. It had begun to pique my interest more and more; I’ been on a walk with Handmade Apothecary’s Kim and Vicky earlier in the year, so I decided to take the next step and booked myself onto a Foraged Herbs Workshop with them too.

Location of the Foraged Herbs Workshop

The first thing you notice is how appropriate the whole setting appears to be. The workshop was held in the Queen’s Wood Community Cafe, in a cabin between the woods and the community garden. You walk through the community garden with its herbs and vegetables to get to a very ‘fairy-tale’ looking cabin. Inside there was a big central table with herbs and equipment all set up for us (well, after a short pause anyway, the kids party that was there beforehand were a bit slow in leaving).

Herbal preparations

Kim and Vicky were professional throughout, and gave us lots of information about each item and preparation.

We began by making Bitter Digestive Drops from quite a few bitter herbs including dandelion, dock, yarrow, mugwort and orange peel; Used to stimulate the production of digestive juices, to prepare the body fora meal; followed by a Hawthorn Brandy Liqueur for modulating low or high blood pressure and anxiety, and to finish, a very sweet and tasty rose hip syrup for vitamin C and other micro nutrients.

Conclusion

If I wasn’t sure before, thanks to Vicky and Kim’s professional and friendly way, I’m now certain that medicinal herbalism is worth a lot more investigation. I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing as I go.

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Foraged Booze

Now, I love the free stuff that I can find and collect and eat, and I quite like alcohol too; So to be able to combine the two is brilliant, hence foraged booze.

I’ve had a go at making Elderflower Champagne, Sloe Gin, and Elderberry Vodka in the past, so when an opportunity came to go on a walk with Andy Hamilton, the foraging booze king, how could I not?

I arrived early and spent a little time practicing my plant and tree recognition skills.

Andy arrived nice and early, and it turns out that he’s every bit as entertaining and charming as he is in his videos. After everyone else arrived we got started with a round of Elderflower Champagne from Andy’s bag of treats. What a lovely start.

The walk continued much the same way. It was a friendly group and I enjoyed chatting to everyone on the way around. The treats continued, and Andy provided information and advice, as well as many more tipples.

I brought my own along too. The Linden Blossom Tea mixed with Spiced Rum went down quite well.

We finished the walk sheltering from a little rain in a copse of trees, where Andy shared his final tipple and information. This one was a little unusual, in that it had blended crickets in it! None of us guessed the secret ingredient.

Foraged Booze Summary

Overall, a really nice experience. One of the things I liked the most about Andy, is that if any of us asked what one might do with a foraged ingredient in booze, that he hadn’t done already, Andy has ideas of what might be done.

I’m looking forward to the next one…

 

Thanks to Andy Hamilton of www.theotherandyhamilton.com

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