Wild food expert, Emma Gunn, reveals the wonderful wild food you can discover on the coast
As you tread the network of trails around Cornwall’s country and coast, it may be easy to miss the juicy gems, spicy secrets and tantalising treats at your feet. But hiding in plain-sight is a rich variety of mouth-watering natural goodies. Both healthy and bursting with flavour these wild delicacies are often overlooked, but this is something that Emma Gunn of Nevermind the Burdocks would like to change.
Held on Sunday 5th and Sunday 19th May between 11am and 1pm, St Michael’s Mount will be joining forces with foraging-guru Emma Gunn to reveal all the wonderful wild foods you can find around the Mount and along Marazion’s coast. Starting on Marazion beach, the walk will kick off with some top-tips from Emma about sustainable foraging and what you can expect to find, from well-known species to more surprising additions.
“Being by the coast, you get some delicious seaweeds such as laver, sea lettuce, dulse, sea spaghetti and the invasive Japanese wireweed”, says Emma. “That’s not all though. Rock samphire, sea beet, Alexanders, nettles, leek and even goji berries are just some of the fantastic things that you can find around here and add to your plate for an exciting twist.” And, whilst some of these species will be first encounters, you will be surprised by how many you already know.
Reconnecting us with nature, foraging isn’t all about taking though. “Understanding the natural landscape means we are better equipped for looking after it”, explains Emma. Always promoting sustainable practices, the founder of Nevermind the Burdocks encourages moderation and making sure plants can regrow again. “Never uproot anything and don’t over harvest – take only what you will consume and leave plenty behind, especially for pollinators”.
Despite its glowing rewards, many people are put off foraging, finding it too intimidating and worried they might pick the wrong things. That’s why foraging courses with experts like Emma are a brilliant introduction and go to show that everyone can go from food-zero to food-hero. “Foraging is a simple pleasure but has so many benefits. It gets you outside and when you collect food with the seasons, you reap the benefits. For example, plants in winter provide starches and carbohydrates whilst in spring they’re naturally revitalising”.
Leading you along the causeway and up to private sections of the island, you can savour the beautiful views of the Marazion marshes, Penzance and Trencrom Hill as you go. Look out for sorrel, silverweed, hogweed, daisies, dandelions, plantain and stretch your green fingers. Later, the walk will finish with a delicious picnic inspired by the day. Cooked by St Michael’s Mount Head Chef Greg Milne in collaboration with Emma, you can look forward to exquisite tastes before you head home with your pickings.
To secure yourself a spot visit our event’s page and to find out more about Emma take a look at her website. Tickets cost £30 and a visit to the castle and return boat trip to the mainland is included in the price.