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chia seeds

Seed dispersal – coming to a sticky end

by Chris ~ 26 May, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Some seeds when they are dispersed come with a small layer or ‘wing’, made of a complex carbohydrate (mixed with some protein).  When wetted, this material swells to form a sticky, gooey mess - this is mucilage.   For a seed to be dispersed with a sticky mass of goo may seem strange, but biology is rarely wasteful or without purpose.

One such mucilaginous seed is “CHIA”.  Chia seeds are classified as a ‘novel food’ in Europe [since 1997], though they have formed part of the diet for people in parts of the Central Americas for centuries.  The seeds are from the fruits of Salvia hispanica - an annual herb that belongs to the Mint Family (Lamiaceae).  The seeds are small (about 1 mm) and roughly oval, they are rich in a number of nutrients - such as omega-3-fatty acids, and minerals like calcium and magnesium.   Read more...

Penny Bun Mushroom foraging

Penny Bun Mushroom foraging

by Ste Carey ~ 22 November, 2012 ~ 3 comments

Before we go foraging for mushrooms - Care is needed when picking mushrooms, mushrooms can come in different shapes and sizes and are only easy to identify once mature. A small immature mushroom also known as a button mushroom will have different characteristics to one that is mature. A button mushroom may not grow a stem until later in its life and may be different in colour. Having said this, don’t leave it too late to pick them.  Maggots have a tendency to eat and live within over-mature mushrooms;  these mushrooms should be considered inedible. Read more...

Cooking pizza on a campfire in a woodland

Cooking pizza on a campfire in a woodland

by Angus ~ 17 August, 2012 ~ comments welcome

Cooking sausages on a campfire is quite easy but what about when the children want to eat something different in the woodland? You can do soups, baked potatoes, beans, lots of fried food - but can you cook pizza? My friend Johnny decided to try it and here's what he did for his "woodland pizza".

First of all he had thought ahead and brought the ingredients and the equipment. For ingredients he wasn't content with a frozen pizza but wanted to cook it properly so he brought a dough for the base, tomato sauce, and toppings of anchovies, olives, cheese and capers. As to equipment, he had brought down to the woodland a round pizza stone as a base, a shiny steel circular tray and some silver foil. Read more...

A woodland birthday

A woodland birthday

by Lindsey ~ 19 July, 2012 ~ one comment

Soft play, football or bouncy castles are the usual birthday party options but not for Mrs Hawkins and her five year old son.  They recently attended a Robin Hood birthday party at Beeley Wood in Oughtibridge organised by Growing Wild. During their two hour adventure, the children enjoyed hunting for treasure, making bows and arrows and cooking sausages on an open fire. Read more...

Cooking and eating woodlice (pillbugs) - a real bushcraft experience

Cooking and eating woodlice (pillbugs) – a real bushcraft experience

by Angus ~ 25 January, 2012 ~ 7 comments

Woodlouses or woodlice have never previously seemed to me the kind of thing you would want to eat. But I came face to face with a cooked woodlouse recently when we made a woodlandsTV film about finding, cooking and eating woodlice. It turns out that they are very nutricious and as long as they are cooked they are perfectly safe. A big advantage of woodlice over slugs or snails is that they can be eaten almost immediately after collection, whereas with slugs and snails you need to put them in a plastic bag for about 24 hours so that their gut empties. For woodlice you just put them straight into the boiling water and they are soon ready to eat. Read more...

Hunter Gatherer

Hunter Gatherer

by Sean ~ 12 July, 2011 ~ 4 comments

In my 2011 quest to only eat meat which I have hunted or gathered myself,  I’ve learned a lot. Most people ask me “how” I do it, so I thought I would share a bit more on the actual tasks of finding the food. Read more...

Chocolate bananas and caramelised apples on a campfire

Chocolate bananas and caramelised apples on a campfire

by Angus ~ 21 June, 2011 ~ 2 comments

It's often hard to get children to eat fruit. On a woodland camping trip we found a good way to get them eating and cooking apples and bananas. Your fire needs to have been alight for some time: this is usually an activity to do after supper, before the children run off into the woods to finish their den-building or exploring. Read more...

Making Sweet Chestnut Flour

Making Sweet Chestnut Flour

by Andy Noble ~ 8 December, 2010 ~ 5 comments

The Sweet Chestnut is not a native tree to Britain.  It is thought that the tree originated in Greece but and was planted in the Britain by the Roman, who planted the tree all across their conquered empire.   This is presumably for the use of the nuts that grow on the tree.  The nuts have formed an important food source for centuries where crops couldn’t be grown, and just like wheat the nuts can be ground into flour. Read more...

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