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From woodland walks and wild food feasts to wellness workshops and foraged cocktails, the programme for the first ever Foraging Fortnight, was launched yesterday, Wednesday 21 August, with the announcement of 27 events taking place in the Moray area.
This brand new festival brings together over a hundred events across five diverse regions of Scotland: from the rolling hills of Lanarkshire, the golden beaches and fields of Fife; the mountains and coast of Moray; to the woodlands and lochs of the Forth Valley and Loch Lomond area; and the diverse islands of Orkney.
The LEADER funded project will take place from 31 August to 15 September, as part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, allowing people to explore Scotland’s natural places and increase their knowledge of wild food and medicinal plants.
Moray events include:
- Living Off the Land: Eva Gunnare, a food and culture connoisseur from Swedish Lapland will be running a series of free events across all five regions sharing her insights into foraging in the Arctic Circle, blending traditional recipes with modern creations.
- Family Foraging Walk: a free walk around Pam and Nick Rodway farm near Forres to see the world of food and nature. The walk, under dappled light from heritage fruit trees and past edible hedgerows, includes refreshments and tasters.
- Explore the Edible Seashore: a free opportunity to explore marine life and discover the edible seaweeds that grow locally in Cullen along with a demonstration to show how coastal ingredients can be cooked.
- The Plants of the Monks of Kinloss: Ethnobotanical researcher Anna Canning of Floramedica takes visitors on a free ‘virtual’ foraging walk in the footsteps of the medieval monks to explore some of the plants that still grow there today, and their uses past and present.
- The Wild Inspired Cookery Show: from fruity soups to aromatic dishes, this free workshop at Oakwood Cookery School (Elgin) provides inspiration to transform your meals with foraged ingredients.
- Walk with the Wild Things: a free guided walk through Sanquhar Woods (Forres), to learn more about the many surprising sources of food in these local woodlands.
The festival programme has been designed to encourage people of all ages to participate safely and responsibly in different foraging activities, while discovering some of the most breath-taking parts of Scotland. Offering a range of free and paid-for tickets, each region has tailored the two-week festival to showcase its surroundings and unique local flora. Participants will be able to forage for medicinal plants, learn how to cook with wild ingredients or attend one of the many feasts of foraged food.
The festival aims to leave a legacy of increased public awareness and expertise of sustainable foraging along with a greater understanding of the health and wellbeing benefits of foraging in natural environments. The festival will be repeated in May 2020 in four of the regions and in September 2020 in Orkney.
Foraging Fortnight events will encourage adherence to Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code and organisers have put together foraging guidelines to ensure that those taking part are doing so in a safe and responsible way.