By Emma Chapman, Fi Martynoga

Author note: advent by way of Emma Chapman

"The fascinating factor approximately this booklet is the variety of strange flavours and species it highlights" (Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles)

This inspirational consultant is bursting with precious information on Scotland’s wild harvest, masking what, the place, while and the way you should use your bounty in sustainable methods from the main precious and frequent of species to the fewer famous, and from leaves and berries to saps, seeds, seaweeds, mosses and wooden. Recipes from Scottish kitchens contain nettle brose, blaeberry truffles and inventive dishes from an incredibly wide selection of species.

Learn tips to commence or expand a repertoire of untamed meals and fabrics that may be used as dyes, treatments and round the domestic.

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Additional resources for A Handbook of Scotland's Wild Harvests

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You can manage a verge or nettle patch by cutting them back hard two or three times in the year – then you will have a supply of young, tender shoots almost all year round. Leave plenty for the insects and birds. Margaret Lear Recipes For nettle tea, see p138 in Wines, Teas and Cordials. NETTLE SOUP PLUS A colander of nettle tops A cup of ground elder or bishop’s weed 1 large potato (diced) 1 small onion (diced) 32 1 litre/2 pints stock (Marmite-flavoured is good) Salt and pepper Fry onion and chopped potato gently in butter, then add washed greens and stir-fry for a few minutes.

Heather thatch can last up to a hundred years, even in exposed situations. Sometimes heather is used as a hardwearing topcoat over a coat of the softer rush or straw. Heather is also used to clad walls, especially those on the weathered side of a building, as it is very hardwearing. Heather can be fixed to the wall with clay or peat, or tied to a wattle wall in overlapping bunches. Heather used for thatching must grow in close beds to ensure a thin stem between 50cm and 60cm, and must have a bushy top that is not too forked.

Most puzzling was a belief in Shetland that nettles placed in the bed of someone you fancied on Hallowe’en would somehow win their heart! But what is often overlooked about this essential survival plant is its enormous value to wildlife. It is the main food source for the caterpillars of some of Scotland’s most well-known and loved butterflies (including small tortoiseshell, peacock, red admiral and comma), some spectacular moths (including one actually called The Spectacle), and it supports around forty other species of insect.

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