Spring has sprung and the foraging season has begun. On Saturday (12th March) a group of intrepid foragers joined experienced forager Dermot Hughes, of Forage Ireland, on a spring, wild food forage around the Poet’s Glen, Creggan. It is important to learn which plants are safe to eat from an experienced forager as some of our native plants, such as foxgloves, can be poisonous.
Participants learned about the various plants which are available to eat at this time of year. For example, dandelion leaves can add an interesting peppery taste to salads and gorse flowers can be used to make a cordial similar to that of elderflower. The participants found a suitable patch of young nettles which enabled them, armed with thick gloves, to pick enough to make a very tasty potato and nettle soup. Nettles are a rich source of iron and calcium and lose their sting once they have been cooked.
The foraging event gave participants a literal taste of our Lúnasa Festival in August which will have a strong focus on local food. The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership has a great season of events planned, culminating in our community led, month long Lúnasa Festival being held from 31st July to 29th August. Councillor Mickey Ruane, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said,
“The Lúnasa Festival is a fantastic showcase for the rich heritage and culture of the South Armagh area. There will be lots of opportunities for visitors and locals to learn about and experience different aspects of South Armagh, from fantastic local food, to music and traditional crafts, guided walks, a Fleadh Rua (Red Head Festival) and a revived Flagstaff Fiesta. The Ring of Gullion really will be the place to be this August.”
For more information on our upcoming events, check out our events page.