Festive Foraging


Sprucing up spring – with an egg hunt alternative – is the Queen’s Park Herb Foraging Walk. Led by Green Health Glasgow on April 3, the walk will start at 11am at the Glad Café.

Green Health Medical Herbalist, Catriona Gibson said: “The walk will last up 2 hours, depending on the group and a little bit on the weather. The end point will be the Queen’s Park Glasshouses, which have toilets, a café and play area.”

Gibson explained that the walk is open to all ages, offering a beginners guide to foraging.

She continued: “The focus of the free walk is plant identification and confidence building.

“I will advise people how to harvest sustainably, respecting the plants and other organisms that rely on them. We will discuss when and how to harvest and any issues around mis-identification of species.”

Identifying plants comes as second nature to Gibson, who regularly hosts workshops and herbal health consultations. However, she encouraged walkers to bring along any foraging books and tips they wished to share.

She said: “The walks are really participative, with the chance to learn common species and try some recipes.”

Gibson rhymed off some of her favourite wild herb ingredients.

She said: “Wild Alliums, Ramsons and Few-Flowered Leek can substitute onion or garlic; and plants such as Lady’s Smock or Bittercress can be make Wild Green Pesto.”

Gibson explained food foraging is becoming a growing movement.

She added: “There’s been a real increase in food bloggers and artisan producers looking for innovative ingredients. I’ve worked with micro-brewers to make foraged beer, and with artists to examine how people and place influence and food.”

This conscientious approach reduces food miles and encourages awareness of seasonal produce.

Gibson said: Foraging connects people to their environment and fosters an appreciation of the natural world.”

The natural world, she said, was good for the body as well as the soul.

Gibson explained: “Many wild plants can be used medicinally for common ailments such as coughs, colds and headaches.”

There are also sociable benefits of foraging walks, as Gibson concluded: “The walks are a lot of fun. There’s always a diverse bunch of people looking to live more sustainably; from young families wanting their children to be more involved in the outdoors; to bloggers who are interested in food foraging or gardeners looking to enhance their skills.”

Updates on the April walk and similar events throughout the year can be found on Green Health’s Facebook page.