The Ultimate Wild Garlic Foraging Guide

The Ultimate Wild Garlic Foraging Guide

Now that we’re well into March, it’s officially wild garlic season! I’ve been so looking forwards to this time of year, as it’s such a joy to pop over to Hook Norton woods & bring home handfuls of tasty wild garlic, which can be used within a huge range of recipes. This nutritious, tasty green leaf is only around for 6 weeks or so – so make the most of it! Read on for everything you need to know about foraging wild garlic, including where to look and key foraging tips.

 

 

 

General Foraging Guidelines

1 – Do not forage on private land

You can forage from hedgerows, around public footpaths, and public woodland but not from people’s gardens or land without their permission! I’d also avoid picking wild garlic from the roadside.

2 – Never dig up a plant to take the whole thing home

You may only pick from the plant rather than removing the whole thing, and be sure to leave the plant in a state so that it will continue to grow. To do this, only pick a little from each plant, and then move on to another.

3 – Leave enough for others

Do not pick every leaf in sight – be sure to leave enough for other people and for the wildlife to enjoy.

4 – Only pick for personal use

Here in the UK it is illegal to forage from public land and then sell what you have picked. Just pick enough to make some tasty receipes for yourself, and to share with friends & family.

5 – Leave no trace

While foraging, be sure not to trample other plants or harm any habitats.

 

 

 

 

How to Find Wild Garlic

Wild garlic is a bulbous perennial which smells and tastes strongly of garlic. Here in the UK, wild garlic is very easy to find. It first emerges during the month of March, and can be found carpeting shady woodland floors. So head to your nearest woodland, and look for carpets of bright green leaves. The leaves have a long thin shape, are very smooth and quite shiny. Depending how far you are into spring, wild garlic may or may not be in flower. The flowers are tiny and white, and are also edible.

If you are still unsure whether what you’ve stumbled across is wild garlic, the smell should be a give away; grab a leaf and give it a sniff. If it smells strongly of garlic, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve identified the correct plant. Still not sure? Don’t forget you can use the plant identifier within the iPhone – just take a photo and then click the leaf emoji at the bottom!

 

How to Forage Wild Garlic

Ok so you’ve found a patch of wild garlic and understand the general rules of foraging. What next? Well, you can either use your hand, or a sharp tool such as secateurs for foraging wild garlic. Grab at the base of a leaf or two and tear the leaf off. Do not grab the entire clump of leaves, as then you run the risk of pulling up the entire plant which is illegal. Choose the smaller, younger leaves as these are more tender.

Be sure to have a trug or bag with you to collect the wild garlic; you don’t want to put it loose into your pockets or in your car, as trust me, the strong garlic smell will linger. Wild garlic flowers are also edible – you could grab a couple of those too to pickle and sprinkle on top of a pasta dish!

 

Get my Foraging Look

My wonderful bomber jacket is new season Beaufort & Blake. It’s the Shepton Quilted Jacket, and is proving to be a very versatile piece. The knit is also Beaufort & Blake; it’s the Primrose Oat Pointelle Half Zip Jumper. I’m absolutely loving half-zip knits at the moment – I also have some lovely ones from Varley. My earrings are the Kate Young Tigers Eye earrings from Monica Vinader, which are a current favourite of mine!

 

The leggings I wore on my wild garlic foraging expedition are my trusty CRZ yoga leggings from amazon. They’re super affordable but also excellent quality; in fact, they rival my more expensive Lululemon leggings. And finally, the gorgeous boots I was wearing are the Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots in shade Conker.

 

Use code JOSIE15 for 15% off your Beaufort & Blake order until 10th April!