It’s probably about three years since I took a bigger interest in foraging and plant identification. Since then I have learnt a lot, but there is always something that I feel is amiss, the fact that I know all these names in English but not in Portuguese. I have decided to make an online Herbarium so that I can learn the names of the plants in Portuguese, and expand my knowledge.
Wild garlic, ramsons (Allium ursinum)
PT: alho-selvagem, alho-dos-ursos
Edible, not found in mediterranean regions.
PT: zimbros, sabinas, juníperos
Edible berries, can be used fresh or dried to flavor dishes and is the main ingredient in Gin
I couldn’t find a name in Portuguese presumably because it can’t be found there. I saw plenty in the Cairngorms, where I became acquainted with it.
Ragwort (jacobaea vulgaris)
PT: erva-de-são João, mija-cão, Tasna, Tasneira
Poisoning to cattle and horse but very good for pollinators and other insects.
Now we can say that Spring has arrived: we’ve had the first taste of Hawthorn leaves, the first potato and nettle soup, the first pick of wild garlic, we’ve seen many, many buds in the trees, the brown soil is slowly being covered by green, plants sprouting everywhere… and, and,and… It’s a busy, lovely time of the year in Scotland.
It’s fairly easy to find wild garlic in Glasgow, Pollok Park and the river Kelvin come to mind, but in Linn Park the abundance is incredible! So the other day, when we were there with friends, we picked some. Today I made two batches of wild garlic pesto (I call it pesto, but I don’t use cheese; only nuts, wild garlic and olive oil) The one on the left is made with cashew nuts, which I had never used before but it might be my favorite, and the other with hazelnuts, because that’s what I had.
We use this in pasta, of course, but if you add more olive oil you can use as salad dressing or drizzled over roasted vegetables, potatoes, or pretty much anything…
This year I also want to try to make wild garlic pakora and ravioli, which I intend to make every year, but I have never done it. Have you tried it?
Last week we left Glasgow for 3 nights. The highlights of this trip were the woods in the Cairngorms National Park, the snow that fell on the first night we were there (that I found so hard to photograph) and the drive throw Glen Coe, which was snowy too…. It was amazing!
This last part you’ll just have to believe me because by then there was no battery left on the camera…
By the way, if you’re visiting Scotland for the first time, don’t bother to go to Loch Ness, head instead to Loch Lomond!
In this trip I realized something I didn’t expect when I decided to learn more about plants and trees. As I recognized many species along the road and in the woods, I felt more connected to the landscape, even as we drove. I wasn’t just appreciating it by it’s beauty or the well-being of being in it; it was more than that…
I remember reading somewhere ( I wish I remember where) that when you learn the name of a plant is like meeting somebody new. When you see that person in a group, you say, there’s so and so. The same with plants.
In turn, I can see this will have a snowball effect on my children. As we walked in the woods at Cairngorm, we marveled at how old the Birch trees looked and how tall the Scots pine were. I asked when they thought the heather or the broom would flower, and how there were still berries on the Juniper. We also spotted some red berries on a low bush, and later, together, learnt the name of a new plant, it’s name is cowberry or Lingonberry.
I think I might have had a wee fairy behind me or something like that because I found two amazing things in the charity shops. A beautiful wire basket and a handmade woolly jumper. I’is a little too big, but super warm and comfortable. It’s handmade and wool… I’m not complaining at all!
Two books I loved to read this week. Veggiestan is from the library, do you see all those yellow papers? At some point I considered to stop bookmarking because I was sticking the papers on every other page, but I kept going and run out of paper half way! The other book I bought it off a friend.
And a little weaving project with a willow frame. Is not finished yet, I think.