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Foraging walk review (All Hands Garden Group)

On a sunny May day the Group met near Woodlands Way, West Wickham for a short walk to find edible plants under the direction of Theresa Webb, qualified Nutritional Therapist and founder of Kitchen Buddy.

Within a few steps of starting we found Wild Garlic growing in the roadside, together with Herb Robert, Dock, Narrow leaved Plantain, Dandelion, Hedge Garlic and Sanicle. A few feet further and there was Cow Parsley.

We were warned that it is important to identify carefully the ribbed stems and green colour and not confuse it with poisonous Hemlock, smooth round purple blotched stems but slightly more feathery leaves and foul smell. This really means you should not touch or eat plants you can not identify as safe. Also it is wise not to take any thing you will eat from below waist height in places where dogs walk. Remember that other animals depend on plants and never take more than two thirds of a plant and do not uproot it if not needing the root.

Roots, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds can all act differently on the body and strengths depend on time of year and day and even weather conditions.

The question came, where is it permissible to pick plants? Strictly, only where you have the landowner’s permission.

Crossing the road we found Broad leaved Plantain, Blackberry brambles , Sweet Chestnut, Oak, Stinging Nettle ( three leaves in a cup of hot water make nice tea), Bracken (ferns), Cleavers (Goosegrass), Honeysuckle, Hawthorn (Mayflower), Deadnettle – all these can be used in various ways.

In the woods we found Raspberry, Silver Birch- sap can make a drink, Yew is poisonous but the red part of the fruit is OK IF YOU DO NOT EAT THE PIP!

Wood Avens, Pendulous Sedge ( sedges have triangular stems, so does Allium triquetum which is the Three Cornered Leek; we did not find this.)

Another two plants to watch out for are Hogweed and Giant Hogweed. Both have sap that causes blisters in sunlight and although edible and sustaining the Giant is best avoided.

Rowan/Mountain Ash had green berries now but orange when ripe and make good jelly. Enchanter’s Nightshade brought some extra interest from the group who wondered how they might use it!

Wood Anemone indicated that this was very old woodland.

Small- leaved Lime was seen and we were to have this as salad at lunch.

Near the end we found Gooseberry and Currant; these may have been dumped here but both are native species. Last was Meadow Sweet, remember the scent of old fashioned pharmacies? This contains aspirin, good for headaches.

Back to Sandy’s house for a delicious light lunch made from some of the species seen, together with herb mixture condiments and pesto made by Theresa. Thank you Theresa and Sandy.

In conclusion, I must emphasize that this article should not be taken as recipes or instruction on eating or using any wild plant as it takes very much more learning to know how to get the benefit of the natural foods and medicines.

Remember that a little learning is a dangerous thing and for that reason I have excluded the many uses we were told of during the walk.

Thanks again to Theresa and Sandy.

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Hayle Park Nature Reserve

I cut through the modern housing estate, to admire their front gardens and walked to the stream where I’d collected nettles in October. Ahead, a few branches lay obstructing the waterfall ever so slightly. The Peaceful sound of running water… then a young man walking by, observing my gaze commented about how it’d be nice to reach out and remove the obstructions. He told me that his father was the founder of the original conservation society there and now, he and his young family lived up at Mount Ararat, the top house on a steep pathway. We walked up together and admired the view across the ponds. It smells so fresh, on a damp, sunny day.

I’m so delighted that Timberland are sponsoring my new LNPC Ranger coat and boots; stomping further up and turning around to the right, climbing down the old steps and across the meadow towards the pond. A moorhen feeds and reminds me to bring my mum’s old scraps of bread for them in future. Meanwhile a mother and daughter threw their bread into the water.

The sound of gushing Water from Crisbrook Mill, as the water rushes from The old mill wheel as it turns, it is in action! I met The owners are outside gardening, pruning buddleia and deadheading roses. They’ve lived on the premises for two years and enjoy it despite the occasional driver who toots their horn too loudly, going around the corner, in the mornings which disturbs this area of natural beauty; a haven of peace and tranquillity. It’s part of the duality (on a Gemini Full moon) which affects us all.

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Fall. Celtic mythology Halloween/Samhain

Edible leaves, flowers and fruits this season, including berries and mushrooms.

On Friday I went out for a walk in Tovil, Maidstone, an old historical part, in Crissbrook meadows and enjoyed the sound of the weir, ducks, coots and squirrels merrily chasing one another for lunch. I rambled up past an old stone wall to the field above overlooking the mill to find a wonderful little hawthorn tree laden with huge berries.

Neither these pretty pink and orange berries nor the bright pink clusters of berries are edible, above. Savouring that special sound of the leaves beneath my feet; light, crispy and often soggy and muddy and wet. On a pathway, alongside the river, a mother and child were walking along and I chose to return in the same direction, fresh water flowing, gushing from the weir. There was a perfect crop of nettles which I collected for an infusion and placed into a bag. A rosemary bush by the roadside looks in good health, so I snapped a twig off to add into the drink. Home for lunch and a hot drink: rinse and brew the leaves in fresh water with added rosemary sprig. which is the perfect caffeine-free pick-me-up. Nettles are rich in Iron and drinking them like this is a useful addition to our hydration during the cooler weather and to combat the drying effects of central heating . The rosemary oils made the water glossy and the impact was immediate. The soft nettle leaves are harmless and made a perfect addition to lunch with a tree herbal blend, a simple butternut squash soup and fruit.

After lunch, another walk along the river towards East Farliegh. All Along the bridge, children had painted a series of pebbles with designs and uplifting affirmations to bring joy and courage to passers by crossing the river, as a result of the Pandemic. What a great idea and discovery to those who look around. Pretty bright designs, with bold, love yourself, self care, peaceful messages painted on them, had been placed all along the walkway.
I walked left under the bridge and the smell of the cut nettles fills the air with a rich metallic scent (from their iron content). I’d collect some more on my return. A peaceful walk, admiring the colours, tree leaves and seeds dancing their way to earth.
Boats moored up with their little gated gardens and allotment plots. A kingfisher darted across; a flash of iridescent blue, into the woodlands on the opposite bank. 2 swans a – swimming, glided past. Comfrey with bright blue purple flowers, a slow berry bush and ivy in bloom growing up a large hazel tree. An hour in and I turned back to return to the house. Watching out for wildlife means observing new species as soon as possible; being observant in nature. I sang softly into the soft rain drizzle and Suddenly noticed a large bunch of new mushrooms with a central brown spot and delicate cap markings, followed by another huge cluster all around the base of a tree. Well camouflaged; unnoticed on my way up. Suddenly again, another 2 new fungi species, individual like on stalks, with a waxy flat cap and frilly feeling, open edged gills to touch. Finally, on the left, a small, weeping apple tree, laden with bramley apples, when all other trees had finished and beneath it sat a large bunny rabbit, munching away on an apple!

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Moringa and mulberry to balance sugar to support pancreas

During our stay in Wellingborough, Effat collects Local herbs to add into daily menus. In particular, Wild harvested Moringa tree leaves, which add a lot of chlorophyll and therefore magnesium, calcium and Iron into our blood. I ate a high percentage of naturally combined raw living foods (with the exception of a little rice, yogurt and sourdough bread provided by our host).

I notice the positive effects almost immediately. my skin began to glow, my eyes became brighter and my nails grew visibly within a week. I felt able to walk for miles, easily with an increase in energy and stamina. I largely enjoy a variety of fresh no cook vegan plant based including plenty of seasonal and wild leaves; Moringa, dandelion, plantain and blackberries for 12 days. As a result I feel more nourishment and have given up any snacks, with a return eating for our cells, for nourishment and with fewer cravings for sweets or sugar. We eat a large brunch with as much green leaves and the savoury herbal blend.

The tree leaf blends taste great and is a unique blend of wild tree leaves including Mulberry leaves and plum which are suitable to treat diabetics. Mulberries are a deliciously low GI fruit and are suitable for diabetics. The addition of Sprouted Brown rice and millet makes it more fulfilling. All our recommendations for diabetes include Moringa, mulberry and avocado leaves.

Helps with:

  • reduce blood pressure
  • menopause symptoms eg. Hot flushes and sweats
  • energy and stamina
  • muscular fitness
  • restful sleep
  • balance blood sugar (diabetes)
  • reduces sweet and sugar cravings

10 x serving Pack 50g £7.00

Theresa Webb

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CANCELLED Hampstead Heath nature walk

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1 PM – 6 PMHampstead Heath

Mushroom collection

Hosted by Rabbie Kadhim


Welcome to the first Visit to Hampstead Heath in a while, I’m looking forward to joining up with my old friend Rabbie Kadhim who is leading this event. I recently received a fungi tour Request in Hampstead and am combining this on 20th September.

Rabbie says:

Following the success of the past nature walks I have organised, this one is easier for everyone to attend.

Sunday 20th September Meet 1pm at GOSPAL OAK station at 1pm, then we have a pleasant stroll through HAMPSTEAD HEATH park, and end near Hampstead tube, and we can grab a bite/drink there. 

RSVP and let me know if you like to invite anyone else, so I will reserve a seating area in a bar/pub/cafe in Hampstead for after our walk.

Dress code: Wear a smile  🙂

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Berry harvest

Harvest time for berries, on a recent stay to Wellingborough for a ten day raw food visit and retreat.

Use our new Kitchen Buddy Super seed Colon cleanse blend, to feel more vibrant. I make desserts with it, add it into breakfast cereal or muesli. Simply, add a desert spoon Into a liquid fresh water, juice or blend into fruit purée, for an instant sweet jelly.

The beautiful back garden is being developed by a local gardener Collette, brings her great energy and plant knowledge to developing the back garden. Next door to the house is a small public field; land enclosed by fruit bushes and trees. It’s a very peaceful place and I lay outside beneath an unusual pine tree, placing my legs up the trunk to support my back. Ideal for Morning or evening Meditation and Dancing. I went most days to reconnect with the landscape, secluded from other places. The entrance yields a stretch of wild blackberry bushes and each day we collected a small amount for that day, rinsed them well and added to our breakfast or fruit dessert. As I walk in, turning right from the front garden, I’m met with elder trees, With fresh ripe glowing berries above my head! their clusters dangle within reach and we selected them for a Refreshing Berry juice Mocktail (non alcoholic drink).

We were give a tour around the lakes, wetlands and home to wild water fowl. We discovered woods land spaces and beautiful picturesque homes. To start our day Effat makes raw living food meals in the mornings and afterwards, a chance to explore the towns and to get to know other practitioners and clinics in the area.

Effat the raw living foods metaphysical Instructor produces a different daily meal and there is lots of fibrous juicy foods including melons and no cook soups.

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Theresa’s Tea Talks: Elderflower infusion

This week we have a Testimonial for this infusion.
“The aromatic qualities really highlight nature’s unseen purities & a potency that it sprays across the land, a perfumery of odours for us all; insects, plants & humans. The taste was real poetry & calming. Thank you for taking me back to nature’s garden. Fortunately, you gravitate to (Medicinal wild herbs) with your inner compass and a heightened sense of taste & smell.
For me it was like being in a time capsule! transporting me back to carefree times walking in a forest, I wasn’t expecting that!“

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This past week has mainly involved the mass gathering of the soft, fluffy, delicate Elderflowers; hanging in clusters upon the trees, before turning into deep red berries.

They are a traditional medicine / remedy For hayfever. Their cluster structure of delicate branches are almost like veins is representative of human lungs; these flowers and later the berries are very supportive of our respiratory system, the lungs and our breath. Thus, use to treat colds or flu.