Updated: Mar 8, 2019
The wild garlic is starting to come through here at Manor Bottom! A few weeks ago, when walking into the woods (where it usually comes through first) I was hit by the raw smell of it. I have just now walked up the gully and picked some of the biggest plants for seasoning the gurnard (bought fresh from the Haven fishery this morning) for dinner. With the extra leaves we have made some pesto which later on will be delicious on oat cakes with a good glass of red wine.
Sometimes wild garlic is regarded as a garden pest, but how can something so tasty be a pest? Surely if you notice it is spreading just pick it and eat it. And whatever you don’t pick flowers beautifully from April to June, producing a wonderful haze of white flowers over the woodland floor. It also has wonderful health benefits, for a list of these click here.
Three warning for you:
· Eat with your partner. The odour when on the breath can be a little overpowering. But if you have both had it, who cares?
· Be prepared in July when the flowers wilt and tend to get a bit pungent – take a hard nose with you as you walk in the wood.
· Allium ursinum, the Latin name, means bear’s garlic. This is due to that fact that bears love the bulbs and can’t resist digging them up. So, beware if you ever go up to the woods in early spring and find freshly clawed holes all over the place – the bears have woken up hungry from their winter slumber and if they spot you, may use the garlic as a seasoning!
Also, when the wild garlic come through you know the bluebells are not far away, and when the downs are a blanket of bluebells the sight is heavenly.