My name is Matt and i’m a British forager, wild food guide and outdoorsman. I have been teaching plant and mushroom identification courses and wild food preparation and cookery courses for over 10 years now, and recently relocated to the USA to marry my partner Megan of Aayus Holistic Health Services. Whilst I process my work authorisation paperwork etc I will be on sabbatical from teaching and work in general, but will use this blog to keep people up to date with my personal foraging adventures and share some useful tips and hints with you all.
I have been interested in the outdoors since I was a small boy, and foraging was always a small part of that country upbringing, with berries, fruits and nuts being abundant in the ancient hedgerows and mild climate of England. As I grew older, other interests fell by the wayside and foraging became my number one passion. I quickly accelerated my learning to a point after 6 or 7 years of self study, knowledge exchange with other foragers and hands on experimentation, I felt confident enough to dip my toe into teaching what I knew.
From my start in teaching around 10 years ago things have gone from occasional courses locally to me travelling all over the UK and even Europe making a living bringing hands on wild food courses to the masses. I have written article for magazines and even featured on BBC TV for my foraging courses and assisted both botanical and mycological recording groups in recording rare plants and mushrooms. As a forager I am more of a generalist, and I will use anything that is edible or medicinal that I can forage ethically. I am also a specialist in both identification and use of medicinal mushrooms and plants in the carrot (Apiaceae) family.
I really value foraging as a way for people to actively connect with nature. I think this is key for a number of reasons. Firstly ethnobotanical links with nature make people engage with and support environmental protections, nature is no longer just something to maybe look at occasionally, it’s a real, productive and interactive environment, supplying some of our most basic needs.
Secondly wild food is great for your health, having very high levels of nutrients your body needs, and a wider array than is found in supermarket vegetables etc.
Thirdly, mental health. There have been numerous psychological studies that have shown getting out in and engaging with nature can help treat depression, anxiety, PTSD etc and I find foraging is an excellent antidote to the pressures of modern life.