Back last year at our Moroccan Tagine Supper Club we met Richard and Anna who were featured on the BBC series Escape to the country. As a result they embarked onto their dream journey to transform Colemore Farm from Sleeping Beauty to sustainable farm and home with self catering accommodation. Richard dreams of creating a self sufficient living off the land there.
During the supper club we got talking about my foraging and some of the wild food I use in my cooking. Some guests even purchased my homemade foraged jellies & chutnies. There is not much left now from last year's loot of Wild Plum Chutney, Rowanberry or Elderflower jelly. Apart from my love of foraging (and walking) I have a keen interest in herbal remedies stemming from my background in Germany where the use of plants in teas and potions is still taught today. To this day most German pharmacies will stock a large repertoire of plant extracts for use in infusions, cream and other applications. As a apprentice I spent hours in the cellar of the pharmacy filling up bags of chamomile whilst singing loudly to myself . The pharmacist always mused that he was glad to hear that I was alright down there. Identifying plants and their medicinal uses figured prominently in my following training as Pharmaceutical technician too. I got married before I gained my qualification and became a "Hausfrau" instead ;-)
As we talked about the abundance of wild food found in the Shropshire countryside Anna asked if I had never thought about running foraging courses. An idea was born. There were a few conversation and consequently she invited me to their wonderful country haven and we plotted some more. They showed me around all that they have created already in the short couple of years since appearing on the program. It was impressive! As everything in their first self catering accommodation the kitchen alone in Frog Mill Barn is too die for. Every details and fitting is to the highest standard.
As you would expect they are surrounded by glorious gardens, duck pond, woodlands and the River Severn a short stroll away. When we had a scouting walk yesterday already wild garlic and primroses tarted sprouting in the hesitant spring sunshine. At the moment it is still cold and muddy, but come the end of April it will be a different story. Ideal to go foraging...and introduce others to nature's larder.
This is exactly what we are planning to do. Run foraging courses at Colemore Farm. It will be very much a joint effort in that Anna already promised to provide hot drinks & homemade biscuits as nourishment for our walk and will prepare some of our lunch in advance. The hens on the farm will give up some of their beautiful eggs for a seasonal quiche. Richard and I will do the talking and walking. Of course, I will get involved with some of the cooking on return as well and everybody will merrily eat with us!
There is lot to think of in preparing this first course and because it is "trial run" this will be reflected in the pricing. Health and Safety is so important these days. There need to be contingency plans considered in case the weather is not so favourably for lunch which is planned to be in the garden (we are talking about the pig's kitchen for this). People need to be told to bring their sturdy walking shoes or wellies and suitable clothing. For all the reasons above we cannot offer the day to children or dogs yet (although young people over the age of 12 are more than welcome!) . Therefore there will be the need for more information to be passed, but here are there bare bones in case you want to get in there first:
Saturday, the 20. April 2013 at 9.30am - 2 pm Shropshire Secret Supper Club Forage Course
Introductory prices* include a
and will be £39.95 per adult, £24.95 for young people (Children will have to be over the age of 12 and are the sole responsibility of the accompanying adult).
For health & safety reasons children under the age of 12 or dogs cannot be allowed on this walk. Please come prepared with suitable footwear and clothing!
*Subsequent forage courses will be £49.95 per adult and £29.95 per young person respectively.
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