Drawing on a 30-year wealth of experiential knowledge, wild food expert Fergus Drennan will take you on a foraging journey that reveals the secret potential in even the most familiar of wild plants, the very plants you walk by every day. The humble bramble or blackberry will be revealed to be, on the contrary, a majestic beast of endless possibilities, native trees will be enticed to deliver up the sweetly nuanced complexity of molasses without a sugar cane plant in sight, and in one unexpected bite of crunchy and savoury abundance, you will experience the genuinely unique opportunity to eat 150 different wild greens all at once.
Fergus is offering a seasonal series of 3.5-hour in-depth wild food walks, for the Spring, Summer, Autumn an Winter, starting in September and running through the year.
On these wild food walks participants will be provided with clear information on the foraging basics, while simultaneously looking deeply into the skills required to get the maximum benefit from wild plants. This includes precise tips and guidance for working with the 20-30 specific plants and fungi encountered on location, as well as detailed instruction regarding processes and techniques, for example, salt pickling, vinegar pickling, lacto-fermenting, cordial making, wine and spirit making, dehydrating, fruit leather creation, seasonings, and other preserving and food preparation techniques. In many instances those techniques will be brought to life by tasting the fruits of such labour.
On each fun, informative, and engaging course, expect to taste 10-15 different wild food creations, including my soon to be world famous 150-different-plants-all-at-once biscuits! Most tasters suitable for vegan, gluten free, and nut free diets.
A full list of plants/fungi encountered will be given to each participant.
Please note that in order to respectfully comply with park bylaws we will not be gathering or picking any plants or fungi (apart from tiny samokleas to aid identification). Many can simply be touched, smelt, and important visual characteristics observed where they are, in situ. Where tasting of the raw plant provides interesting information, I will provide fresh samples from elsewhere to make sure you don’t miss out!
This is a new course that begins in autumn 2020, hence no reviews yet. However, the course follows the same engaging format as my London Parks courses, so the lovely reviews I’ve received for those I hope an anticipate will be similar for this course. Her’s a selection:
Even after almost a lifetime spent experimenting with, cooking and writing about food I learnt so much more in a few hours of foraging with Fergus. He is immensely knowledgeable as well as inventive, with a humorous touch.
Josceline Dimbleby 1st Sept 2019
Fergus was extremely knowledgable, personable and kept the entire group captivated with stories and information throughout the entire course. He knew how to educate us without bombarding us all with too much information. his enthusiasm is infectious and I came away totally inspired!
Charlotte October 2019
Fergus was a brilliant guide and gave a really interesting intro to wild food. We were amazed at how much is around us. Fergus kept us interested and entertained throughout. His passion for wild food and his desire to have fun and be creative with it was evident during the entire session. We’d recommend this experience to anyone who’s interested in foraging or just fancies learning something new / doing something different in London.
Joanna November 2019
A really great way to take a ‘more observant’ meander around one of London’s beautiful woodland parks. Fergus retained the group’s attention with wit, charm and his invaluable wisdom on all manor of wild foods. A genuine guy, imparting expert’ forager’s knowledge about how to identify, prepare, store and eat foods with samples on the ready, made this 3+ hour stroll absolutely fly by! My second forage adventure with Fergus and already looking forward to doing another one! Highly recommend for inquisitive youngsters and grown-up kids alike. 🙂
Chris November 2019
Fergus’ walks are like a city food tour but 10x better! You’ll taste more than you could ever fit in a city food tour (I didn’t count, but it felt like we were tasting something new every couple of minutes and in 3.5h that’s a lot!), you will use your five senses, listen to funny stories, and pick up lots of tips and memorable facts along the way. And they are great for kids and dogs as they can run around outside without the risk of getting lost of run over!
These walks are really one of a kind. They bring together Fergus’ passion (his excitement is contagious), patience (you can ask him hundreds of questions including ‘whats this?’ repeatedly and he doesn’t seem to mind, on the contrary!) and his culinary and experimental talents (going beyond what you will read in books), such that it would be difficult for anyone else to top these walks.
Maria November 2019
To be able to appeciate the wealth of wild food abundunce that surrounds us.
Develop a clear understanding of how to gather seasonally and sustainably for both food and medicine.
Learn key wild food preservation and processing techniques.
Discover that although the aim here is to render invisible food visible, sometimes it is the journey that is more important than the destination.
Experience the added learning that comes from a multi-sensory approach to wild foods, through touch, taste, smell, sight, and indeed listening.
Stanmer Church car park
Please dress appropriately for the weather and some uneven ground
What do I need to bring?
A note book and pen, or camera as a memory aid, if desired.