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In the Woods – December

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There is still foraging to be had, even as the nights draw ever closer to the shortest day. This week on a walk I found water mint, clover, dandelions, hairy bitter cress, jelly ear mushrooms, ground ivy and wood sorrel.

The long evenings are a perfect time for finishing off projects and checking over stored kit, whilst planning new adventures. Of course the productivity and new plans need to be celebrated by sampling the sloe gin.

Dandelion Root Coffee

Late autumn and early winter are good times to gather the roots. They are the fattest they will get without turning too starchy over a long winter.

I helped a friend clear her allotment, and came away with this haul, the easiest permission I’ve ever been granted to dig up roots, I even got a free dinner out of it.

Washed and scrubbed, I cut them, left them to dry for a few days then roasted them in the oven, and when they were black I ground them. A coffee grinder rather than a pestle and mortar is highly recommended at this stage!

The finished product.

I’ve been told it’s not quite coffee, but its not far off. Disliking coffee immensely, I unfortunately think it is close enough so won’t be sampling this home made product again.