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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Edible Root No. 1 Burdock; Foragers Diary

If you want to take your foraging one step further to the point where you can actually survive from the wild food you gather you will need to find some starch and carbohydrate rich foods. Things we normally get in the form of potatoes, pasta and rice. Now these things are not available to us easily in the countryside instead we need to turn to other sources such as the root of Burdock. 

This is our normal view of the Burdock, and these burrs are often to be found attached to our clothes, this is of course the burdock's way of spreading it's seed. The burrs become attached to the fur of animals and peoples clothes and are distributed. But is this really a source of food? 

This is more like it, you can see the older burdock at the top of the picture but what you can see on the ground are the first year leaves of the plant just begining to die back. Burdock is a biennial plant, it's life cycle takes two years, producing the tall stem and burrs we are familiar with at the end of it's second year. At the end of it's first years growth it will not have that tall stem or burrs but instead under these leaves will be a fat root swollen with the plants food supply to keep it through the winter. That is what we are after. 

As well as a few decent sized burdock roots I found a huge field mushroom today. 

One option for your foraged burdock, these crisps have just been deep fried and are great with a bit of salt and vinegar. 

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