Wildcraft Brewery Guide to Foraging in April
April and May are some of the best months in the UK for foraging shoots and leaves. Although we can't use many of these in our beers, we do love making meals from them which we can then match with a Wildcraft Ale...
The great thing about this time of the year is that the young stems and leaves haven’t had time to become astringent and their growth is often prolific. Have a look at our guide below for some of the shoots and leaves that are easy to find on most walks you might do:
Starting with my favourite:
This is my favourite plant in the spring. The leaves, bulbs and flowers can be used but remember, you must never forage the bulbs… These are what enables the plant to grow each year, start foraging these and they will disappear from our countryside. You can view our recipe for wild garlic pesto on our website.
Great in salads, mixed in with some boiled or mashed potato or add to cider vinegar to make a lovely vinaigrette. This is an invasive species so can be found all over the place, often in the shade, in woods and on roadsides.
Most people will know this Roman introduced plant as Horse Parsley. The best parts of it are its stems which can be steamed, buttered and seasoned with a bit of pepper.
Great in salads, Claytonia or Miners lettuce is petite and delicate in appearance and on the palate. Its composed of thin, succulent lemon lime stems that support kelly green colored basal leaves. The flavor is mild and sweet, with subtle earthiness. At its height of maturity, miners lettuce produces numerous edible flowers from its stems.
Stinging nettles are often avoided due to the pain they can inflict. They are really tasty though. We make a great summer beer, ‘Wild Sting’ and I love a good stinging nettle soup.. Recipe on our website. We will add more to this guide as the year progresses. In the meantime, below is a list of many of the things you can find in April in the uk.
Red Clover, Beech, Black Mustard, Borage, Broom, Chickweed, Common Sorrel, Common Mallow, Corn Salad, Crow Garlic, Dandelion Leaves, Fennel, Garlic Mustard, Ground Elder, Hogweed, Hop, Horse Radish, Pignut, Redcurrent Flowers, Sheeps Sorrel, Spearmint, Nettle, Watercress, Sweet Cicely, Wild Garlic, Wood Sorrel, Winter cress, Wild Cabbage,