SeaWives | 11/05/2018
A Forager’s delight
You may see this handsome, bearded man lurking within the bushes, hedges and the marshy banks of the English Channel Estuary but do not be afraid. He is a professional forager and spends his days foraging for foods that can be enjoyed by all – if only we knew where to look!
Wross Lawrence is 35 years old and living in East Sussex. He was born in Pembrokeshire and his love for the outdoors initially found him working as a fisherman and then a tree surgeon before his love of all things natural got the better of him and his foraging story began.
We were lucky enough to interview Wross and to find out what lies behind the beard.
What made you fall in love with foraging and how did you learn what to look for and where to look?
My nan used to take me blackberry picking when I was a child and my interest in being able to eat food you have picked yourself began early on. But it was only after working as a fisherman that my eye got keener. Having unlimited access to free seafood made me wonder what else I could find for free around the coastline. I began reading books about foraging and came my own guinea pig and I couldn’t believe what was out there. it was during this time I met Yun Hyder, who is foraging royalty and has been since the early 80’s. He kindly took me under his wing and taught me the ways of the forager.
What is good to look out for at this time of year?
Wild Garlic is flowering at the moment. It is a beautiful wild plant that is unmistakeable due to its smell. All the parts are edible, the flowers and seed pods included.
What is your favourite season for foraging?
Spring is the highlight of the year for me. It is such a positive time, when the evenings begin to draw out, the leaves begin to appear, and the flowers and insects peek their heads out from the cocoon of Winter.
If you could forage anywhere in the world where would it be and what would you be looking for?
It would definately be a truffle hunt in France.
Why is foraging important to you?
It gives me peace of mind. I don’t do yoga or meditation but I imagine these practices achieve a similar result as I get from when I forage.
What are your views on all the processed foods and children’s perspective on where their food comes from?
I feel that the world and people are changing. I feel that processed foods have had their day. There is a noticeable push for Organic produce nowadays and more and more people care about where their food has come from, including children. There are so many programmes on TV now about food, cooking and the natural world. I believe this is a great thing.
Do you have any plans, or would you like to help educate children about natural foods and their sustainability?
Actually, I am signed up to run a few classes this summer with children doing their bronze Duke Of Edinburgh Award. Let’s see how that goes first!
What happens to the produce after you have picked it?
Any produce I pick has been specifically ordered by a client. It will be picked, washed, weighed, packaged, labelled and posted to them within 24 hours.
Do you enjoy experimenting by cooking with what you have foraged? What do your friends and family think and what is your favourite recipe?
I love using all the ingredients I pick. they are such high quality and have so much nutritional value. they are unlike anything you buy in the shops. I do experiment on friends and family sometimes it goes well and sometimes not. My favourite recipe at the moment would be Wild Garlic Pesto. It is so simple and unbelievably good.
The Seawives team have heard on the grapevine that you may have a book in the pipeline, is this true?
I am currently in the early stages of writing a book. I can’t say too much at the moment but I promise to keep you posted!
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.