Is there anything better than locally sourced, fresh, organic food? Yes, only one thing, when you source it from nature yourself. There is so much wild goodness to be found in Irelands forests and fields, and an equally impressive amount of expert foragers who will teach you how to find it for yourself. We have chosen a few top Irish foraging experiences to share with you, enjoy.
If mushrooms and fungi are to your taste, then follow Mary Bulfin on her seasonal forages. Mary has an impressive and varied CV, she was a chef, scientist and nature medicines expert, but now she is known as one of Ireland’s most knowledgeable wild food experts. Some of her October finds include chicken of the woods, boletes, chanterelles and giant puffballs.
Instead of getting Christmas presents in a department store, why not try a more natural option? Sloe gin, rowan berry schnapps, crab apple jelly and pine needle oil are just some of the wonderful gifts you can find by foraging in the woods at the the food of the Blackstairs Mountains in Carlow. You’ll need a little help for your first time, luckily Robert and Mary White are nearby offering their expertise in their Foraging Workshops, their imaginative offerings range from herbalism workshops to fizzy foraging hen brunches!
Is there anything sweeter than honey? Yes, collecting your own organic honey fresh from a busy beehive. On Leahy family farm, buried away in the gentle Sieve Aughty mountains Co.Galway, you can get suited up with Noel Leahy and see the inner-workings of one of his beehives.
Another top forager is Geraldine Kavanagh. Part of Wicklow Wild Foods she is also a full time forager for artisan gin distillers Glendalough Whiskey. Geraldine has teamed up with John Slattery, the author, herbalist, and forager to create the perfect weekend retreat. The aim of their retreat is to reconnect you with the natural world, forgotten flavours, medicinal flora and ancient lore.
Evan Doyle, chef, hotelier and wild food pioneer has begun to share his passion and expertise for wild foods with those interested. He co-wrote a Wild Foods handbook with Biddy White Lennon, and runs events at the BrookLodge Hotel in Wicklow. Here he brings you on a tour of the wild food pantry and certified organic kitchens at the Strawberry Tree Restaurant, where he will teach you how to identify, gather, cook and preserve wild foods throughout the year.