On The Map: Brecon Beacons Foraging

It’s time for another weekly ‘On The Map’ feature as we take a look at another one of our fantastic exclusive map businesses.

We had a lovely chat with Adele Nozedar from Brecon Beacons Foraging about her first book, the resurgence in foraging, what adventure means to her and what’s in store for the rest of 2016.

1: Tell us about your business

Brecon Beacons Foraging is a long-term dream come true! After my first foraging book, ‘The Hedgerow Handbook (Remedies, Recipes and Rituals)’ was published a few years ago, events, organisations and individuals started to ask me to take them out foraging, to help identify wild plants and fungi, and how to use them. My second foraging book, ‘The Garden Forager’, concentrates on the plants in our gardens, both wild and cultivated, which are also edible, and this meant that my foraging repertoire expanded to include plants, usually considered to be ornamental, which are also very tasty. I’ve travelled the length and breadth of the UK doing both kinds of foraging and I realised that Wales is the best place in the entire UK for foraging, not only because of the range of different habitats, but because of our supermodel landscapes and the views that monet can’t buy…because foraging is an entire sensory experience not limited only to plant identification..

The resurgence in foraging – and all things to do with wild nature – is massive. Any chef worth his salt now includes foraged edibles in his or her menus. At Brecon Beacons Foraging we offer full day courses which includes a walk, a 12 course lunch cooked by our chef and using many seasonal foraged ingredients, plus afternoon workshops with a goody bag to take home. We also run half-day mid week courses for adults, a course specially designed for children aged between 6 and 12 which runs during school holidays, and – another one for the grown-ups – cocktail foraging, which includes lots of free samples and a workshop. If you have a special event in mind, we will do our best to accommodate it. As well as hosting the courses from Llanfrynach, just three miles east of Brecon, I can travel to where you are. Perhaps a foraging day would make an unusual gift for a special occasion? A birthday? A hen party? Or maybe you want to find out what is edible on your land or in your garden? Brecon Beacons Foraging can help.

A foraging walk, by the way, is a slow, ambling, contemplative process, suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness. Routes are easily adapted for forgers with wheels, whether they be wheelchairs, prams, or whatever (with the exception of rollerskates).

2: What is your favourite Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottage?

For me, if I needed a home from home, Hidden Valley, close to the book town of Hay on Wye, would be perfect. Amazing views, character, a great deal of history and an open fire, along with enough room to stack a good range of friends, makes this the perfect place….and I can’t resist the lure of bookshops!

3: What is your favourite thing about the Brecon Beacons?

The landscape….pure, unspolied nature. The dark, starry skies. The scents of the hedgerows in the midday heat of a summer day as well as in the wet, muddy tang of our autumns…Following where my dogs lead into new places, full of amazing plants and fungi, which I can then share with my friends.

4: This year is the Wales Year of Adventure – How could someone be adventurous with Brecon Beacons Foraging?

An adventure is an experience which you’ve never had before. Once you realise what incredible powers they possess, then discovering plants and fungi becomes like finding treasure, often hiding in plain sight. People get really hooked! Foraging is an adventure which can grab you for the rest of your life, and something you can do wherever you happen to be. Foraging can change your life for the better, and gives every single day the potential to be an adventurous one!.

5: What’s in store in 2016 for your business in 2016?

Brecon Beacons Foraging is set for a busy year. As well as offering weekly courses here in Llanfrynach, I am booked for many outside events too; a smattering of stately homes, some festivals including The Green Man at Glanusk) and we are also appearing at the National Eistedfodd as part of The Big Skill. Our menu will expand with the seasons as more ingredients become available, and there’s also another book in the offing…so, our first year is looking very adventurous indeed!

 

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