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Interview: Plant Based Diet Coach Padraig O’Dwyer

Last week we had the pleasure of catching up with Health & Fitness Coach Padraig O’Dwyer who told us about his journey to a plant based diet.

How long have you been on a plant based diet?

I have always had an interest in food and fitness for lifestyle. At the age of 27 I went vegetarian. I was also training a lot at the time and I ended up getting very sick as I wasn’t getting the right nutrition. Only the basic vegetables were available to me at the time and I ended up expending more energy than I was putting into my body. I would cook, eat and get sick. The doctor recommended that I retrain myself to eat again and it felt natural to return to a meat based diet. 

I came across Juice Plus in 1994 and this was a turning point for me. I started to learn about fruits and vegetables and read more about processed foods. First, I started using only meat from butchers, then less meat and more fish. I never lost the idea of going vegetarian. I went plant based 6 years ago. 

However, I had done a lot of research. I remember watching “What the Health” and this was a turning point for me. I had to ask the question, how can I keep training and not make the same mistakes I had before?plant-based-diet-coach-interview

This is when I came across the Happy Pear. I started following them, replicating their meals. I was still eating fish and eggs but I was learning about alternatives. 

We are all sold the idea that drinking milk leads to strong bones but the research clearly states that the more milk you have in your diet the most likely you are to suffer with Osteoporosis.

The China Story by Colm T Campbell is a brilliant book following over 30 years of research and shows that the whole idea of protein from meat is a myth. 

What exactly is a plant based diet? Do we need to cut out fish?

It’s not a vegan diet. A lot of people are starting to replace processed food for more processed food. A plant based diet is based on real fruit, real vegetables, lentils, beans, all natural foods. For me, it doesn’t have to be organic. That is trying to reach perfection. And then there is the whole question of is organic actually organic to be considered. I eat all plants.

What was the hardest animal based food to give up?

Eggs was by far the hardest thing to give up. We got our eggs from a local farmer. Between the two of us we could eat 24 – 30 eggs a week. They were so versatile but after I did the research and learned more about the egg it was easier to stop eating them.

What would you say are the major benefits of being on a plant based diet?

Any decision for me is about recovery. That’s why I added Juice Plus to my diet. I went plant based for health reasons. Now at 59 years old I go our training at 5am in the morning and recover so quickly that I can do it everyday. I haven’t had a cold or a flu in 25 years. I sleep very well and for an auld guy I reckon I have okay skin (I can confirm Padraig has very smooth skin).plant-based-eating-orchards-near-me

Training?

I like running, trail running and hill running. If anyone is just starting out I would recommend following some of Joe Wicks easy exercises. I recover so quickly after any training that it allows me to train every day.  

What would you say to someone who is trying to cut out animal products but struggling?

Make simple changes, keep it simple. Eat 1 meatless meal per week. Consciously add vegetables to your plate and cut your portions of meat in half. Educate yourself about the health benefits. When you realise that you are not following a fad, but doing it for a reason. I want to live longer but with a good quality of life. You hear about many older people stuck in homes for the elderly and taking a lot of medication. I would prefer to avoid that if possible. 

What is your opinion on restaurant offerings in terms of plant based options?

There is definitely more movement here. This year more than ever. With the influence of the younger generation. The only worry is that everyone starts to think that everything vegan is good for you which isn’t the case. It all comes down to reading the ingredients. If you see more than 5 ingredients this is usually a red flag for me. If you can’t understand the terminology on the back of a packed then it is probably put together by a scientist or lab. Instead, focus on fresh foods. If you need some help understanding check out Bosh.tv.

The impact of me changing is that Gabriella, my partner has changed and my daughter has changed. I do all of the booking at home. For the 4th Christmas in a row all of the people coming to our house for Christmas dinner will eat a plant based dinner on Christmas day. 

Will it become boring once the food becomes familiar?

For me I have a list of 39 meals at home that we consider go-to recipes. Where as when we grew up it was probably a maximum of 10 dishes we would resort to.

What is your favourite plant based dish?

There’s a couple. I enjoy plant based Wellington. Chickpea curry was one of the first dishes I learned from the Happy Pear and it is everyone’s favourite at home. If you are looking for real comfort food, you can put it with mashed potatoes. I once went to a restaurant where the waitress came to the table and said I’m sorry but our risotto contains cream and I say bring it on. 

“I’m not looking for perfection, I’m looking for progress”

What is your favourite sweet treat?

I am the wrong person to ask about desserts and I don’t really eat them but apple with dairy free ice-cream is a nice treat.

What’s in the future for Padraig?

My love has always been coaching people on fitness and health. I meet people where they are and ask them where they want to be. If somebody wants to ease themselves on to a plant based diet I am happy to help. I love it.

“Once we learn that we have been conditioned to think a certain way about food we have some choices to make”

If you want to look at independent, clinical research than Dr. Michael Gregor at nutritionfacts.org is a good place to start. Changing to a plant based diet isn’t a 6 – 8 week course. It’s a lifestyle choice and it’s not easy. I like to sit down and talk to a person for 45 minutes so that we get to know one another before we work together. 

We would like to thank Padraig for his time and for answering all of our plant based questions. If you have a question regarding plant based eating or wild foods reach out to us anytime.

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6 Tasty Food & Foraging Experiences in Europe

At Orchardsnearme.com we only partner with the experts. From food filled adventures to local foraging experiences, each trip is designed to reflect the true landscape and production in a region. If you are a food and nature lover than there are some mouthwatering foraging experiences in Europe.

A Taste of Ireland: Coast to Coast

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We always start at home. As we are based in Ireland we can guarantee a fun time on this action packed food adventure. From coastal foraging along the Wild Atlantic Way to mountain walks to meeting the local historians, every activity on this excursion is unique.

WHEN TO GO: When you visit Ireland at any time of the year you can expect all four seasons in one. However, the tides do need to be considered when planning any coastal foraging adventure. We are planning expert guided tours for April and May 2020. If you want to organise a private group trip outside of these days please get in touch with us directly.

VIEW THIS EXPERIENCE

Italian Foraging Experience

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Real foodies will be in heaven on this bespoke foraging experience. This day long tour is packed full of natures delights. You will enjoy learning about the wild produce of Italy, sample pasta making, taste the wines and meet the local experts.

WHEN TO GO: Italy can be extremely hot in the summer months so we are recommending the Spring and Autumn months for guided foraging adventures in Italy.

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Do Emporda Wine & Orchard Adventure

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The untouched beauty of Do Emporda region in Catalonia will leave you wanting more. From famous tapas to orchards bursting with fruits, this area is waiting to be discovered. Visit stunning apple orchards, taste the local wines and meet the fruit producers.

WHEN TO GO: Catalonia is blessed with the beautiful sea breeze from the Mediterranean. Even in the middle of summer if you are by the Costa Brava you should enjoy a nice summer temperature. Any month from March to September is good for this tasty adventure.

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A Taste of Slovenia: The Mountains are Calling

Untapped and ready to be explored, Slovenia is rich in nature, making the perfect partner for our team. From those who love to combine outdoor adventure and food filled trails, the Julian Alps is the perfect spot to sip the local wines and get a true taste of outdoor life.

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WHEN TO GO: There are snow capped peaks in the North west of Slovenia from December to March each year. From May to October you will enjoy warm weather and perfect conditions for getting outdoors, visiting the local food producers and experiencing the landscapes.

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Discover the Douro Valley

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Our friends in the Douro region of Northern Portugal are looking forward to welcoming you to one of the most famous wine regions in Europe. On this unique trip you will have the opportunity to visit an olive farm and several vineyards to get a true flavour of the land.

WHEN TO GO: The Douro Valley experiences warm summers and cold winters. From May to October you will enjoy sunshine, warm winds and the ideal months for witnessing the harvest activities of the region.

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A Taste of Croatia: Gourmet Adventure Break

Now renowned as the home of Game of Thrones, Croatia is a magical country to visit. From the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic coast to lush waterfalls of the interior, we will connect you with every aspect of nature. Truffles feature heavily in all aspects of this farm-to-table adventure.

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WHEN TO GO: From November to April many of the tourist accommodation and facilities close for the winter season. Between May and October you can expect dry, warm weather weather and lots of activity around all of the major towns.

VIEW THIS EXPERIENCE

To book your next food filled adventure or learn more about the wonderful foraging experiences in Europe talk to a member of our team anytime.

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Wild Recipe: 3 Cosy Wild Tea Recipes for Winter

Nothing warms the heart like a hot cup of tea in the winter months. Sitting by the fire with a mug of your favourite wild tea will bring a smile to your evening. We love to forage for wild tea ingredients. From calming chamomile to energy boosting dandelions, there is inspiration everywhere in nature. Here are three of our favourite wild tea recipes to try out at home.

Sweet Rosehip Tea

Rosehips are a ripe winter fruit that contain large amounts of Vitamin C.

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Dandelion Delights

This little yellow weed never fails to surprise us. We use the flower heads for tea, starter snacks and additions to our pies. The leaves and root can also be used in your wild dishes. Dandelions contain anti-oxidants and are said to reduce cholesterol and inflammation.

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Soothing Yarrow Tea

Yarrow is a relaxing herb. It helps your muscles and improves blood circulation. Note: do not use this herb if you are on other medication or pregnant.

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To learn more about Wild herbal teas and make some delicious blends you can download your own Wild Herbal Tea Recipe Collection.

For more information about foraging for wild tea ingredients contact the team or join us on one of our foraging experiences.

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Foraging Gift Vouchers: Give the Gift of Nature

‘Tis the season to be jolly and think about the ones you love. We have been getting a few requests for gift vouchers and we are delighted to provide you with two unique foraging gift vouchers for your family and friends. If you are looking for something different and a special item to add to your Christmas stocking then we can arrange a private foraging experience in the new year.

€50 Gift Voucher

If you know somebody who would like to spend more time in nature and give one of our tours a try we are happy to arrange a private group session for €50.00 in Ireland. Foraging will be weather dependent and we will decide the best availability with the group in advance. Along the way you will learn about wild herbs, edible flowers, edible plants and mushrooms.

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€100 Gift Voucher

Spoil a loved one and get a private foraging adventure for 2 people. These day tours are limited and you must check availability in advance but we are delighted to provide introductory day tours for food and nature enthusiasts.

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If you are planning a longer trip to Europe and would like to embark on one of our week long food adventures these vouchers can be used to help towards the overall cost of the tour.

To give the gift of nature this Christmas reach out to us and we would be delighted to offer you a unique foraging and food adventure in Europe.

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What’s in Season? Foraging in Winter Months

Sometimes foraging in winter feels like a secret adventure. Wild foodie treasures don’t fully disappear after the fruitful summer months. Fresh green leaves, nuts and berries may be a little harder to identify but they are there for the taking. Sometimes it feels as though nature knows more about what we actually need than we do ourselves. You will find plenty of sources of vitamin C and other immune boosters during the winter months, helping you to keep cold and flu symptoms at a distance.

When the evenings are dark and there is frost in the air you have plenty of time for playing around with your wild food finds in the kitchen. Every season is a time to get back to nature and reconnect with the landscapes around you. When you look at the winter hedgerows, drooping, grey and glistening with frost, it’s hard to imagine there is much life around. But the truth is, even in the depths of winter, plenty of foodie treasures can be found.

Grab your hat and scarf and head out for a local forage with friends. Here are just a few of the wild treats you can hope to discover in winter.

BERRIES

Rosehips

One of our favourite food sources in winter is the Vitamin C packed rose hip. These are plentiful in parks and woodlands at this time of year. Be sure to wear your gloves as they come with thorns attached to the stems. Enjoy sipping rosehip tea and mixing them for syrups.

Hawthorns

Used as a herbal remedy to tackle high blood pressure in ancient times, the hawthorn berries and stems are high in antioxidants.

Juniper Berries

These tree berries are deep purple in colour. You can infuse them in drinks and the stems have a wonderful fragrance that can be used to clear any nasty odours in the house.

Sloe Berries

Gin infused with sloe berries is now one of the most popular drinks on the market and it is easy to see why. Sloes are sweet and pack a punch when it comes to flavour.

WILD GREENS

Pine Needles

These spiky needles that come from scots and spruce pine trees contain high amounts of vitamin C and are often used in winter herbal tea recipes.

Wood Sorrel

Available year round this healthy woodland green is a wonderful addition to warm salads in winter. They have a bitter but pleasing taste that will leave you wanting more.

Jack by the Hedge

Often known as garlic mustard, Jack by the Hedge is a winter gem. They have distinct heart shaped, hairless leaves that sometimes look like nettles but they won’t sting you. The leaves have a natural anti-freeze and so they are worth foraging in the winter months.

Honesty

With its radish flavoured leaves Honesty is a lovely little leaf to forage in winter. Try a taste of the root and the leaves.

Ground Elder

Smelling and tasting a little like parsley we can think of lots of dishes for this wild weed.

Dock

If they are picked young they have a nice lemon flavour that goes well with any fish dish.

MUSHROOMS

To our amazement the woods are still packed with different mushroom species this year but there are some types of mushrooms more commonly found in winter than others. These include wood blewits, velvet shank mushrooms and oyster mushrooms.

Join one of our next foraging tours or find out more about winter foraging with our free foraging guide.

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Wild Recipe: Pickled Plantain Seeds

Ever thought about cooking with plantain? This common weed is full of nutrients and so versatile. We are having a lot of fun experimenting with this wild weed and cooking up some tasty wild recipes.

WHAT IS PLANTAIN?

Broadleaf Plantain (aka Plantago Major) is a common weed, medicinal plant and natural herb. It can now be found growing in most parts of the world. It contains vitamins A, C and K. The oval shaped leaves can be eaten raw and the seeds are packed full of nutritious benefits.

HOW TO PREPARE AND USE PLANTAIN

Leaves can be added to salads and all parts of the plant can be mixed in with your homemade vegetable soups. Plantain seeds can be used in salads, stir-fry’s and curries. Today we are making pickled plantain seeds.

INGREDIENTS

  • Red Cabbage
  • Coriander
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Curly dock Seeds
  • Plantain seeds
  • Chilli
  • Garlic

INSTRUCTIONS

Carefully wash all of the ingredients.

Use a pestal and mortar to grin the chili, garlic cloves and sugar together.

Finely chop two handfuls of red cabbage.

Add all of the ingredients to a large jar, throw the seeds on top of the mixture. Add a pinch of salt and pour white wine vinegar over the mixture until it is fully covered.

Leave the closed jar to ferment for two to three days in the fridge.

Enjoy your pickled plantain goodness! If you have more sweet or spicy plantain recipes we would love to hear from you.

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Why eating local is the future!

Do you know where the food that you eat comes from? If not than maybe its time to find out. Eating locally produced food has benefits for both us and our fragile eco-system.

By 2050 the UN experts predict that we will  have 2.5 billion more people living on our planet. The UN believes that we will have to double our food production but wait, let’s take a closer look at our current system and see if there are some areas of improvement. If one third of the food we grow is never eaten than there is surely room for lots of improvements in how we consume our foods and the way we learn about the food around us.

This is one of the primary reasons foraging for food became a passion for us. We wanted to see how the plants were growing, what environments they lived in and how other plants interact with them before we decide to use them in our dishes. Experimenting with food has to be one of my biggest passions and heading out into the wild to source invasive wild produce is like going to a toy store as a child.

WHY WE SHOULD EAT LOCAL

NUTRITION

If you buy locally grown food than the food should arrive on your plate shortly after it is produced, thereby holding more of its nutritional value. The quality of the food will be better and we will eat more seasonal produce.

INVEST IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

As well as helping your local environment you are also helping the local economy. Buying local means that the money you spend on food goes back into the local economy, spreading the wealth around the local area.

REDUCE FOOD WASTE

This is something that we are all guilty of and with the prolific use of plastics in our supermarkets it is difficult to avoid all waste after you do your shopping. However if we begin to shop locally and organically we can significantly cut down on our weekly waste.

In addition to composting we can find alternative uses for our food waste and this is starting to become a hot topic of conversation. Farms are experimenting, using compost as feed and biofuel.

SAVING ESSENTIAL WATER RESOURCES

Our natural water sources are being depleted. A sustainable future requires a collective appreciation of all of our water sources.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Here are four simple changes that you can make to your daily routine to help secure a brighter, sustainable, local future for your community.

  1. Take time to understand where your food is coming from and how it is produced.
  2. Adopt a composting culture. Recycling has become the norm for most households today, composting needs to be the same.
  3. Save water whenever possible.
  4. Join us for a foraging adventure and learn about the wild edible species around you.

Some people are concerned that foraging or extracting sources of wild food could damage the environment. However, let me introduce you to invasive plants. Everywhere you look you will stumble upon an invasive plant species. Not all are edible but some are simply delicious and not only is it okay to forage these wild plants, you are assisting the environment by tackling the large amounts of these non-native species and allowing the true natives to flourish.

After a number of years in the making, the Invasivore Movement is catching up and people are starting to realise that eating local doesn’t have to be expensive. Eating local may mean both organic farm produce and wild invasive species like some weeds that can easily replace a number of our refrigerated green leaves. Using weeds as a source of food can be nutritious and benefit the environment at the same time.

In fact many environmental groups agree that invasive species can damage and change a landscape. According to the Woodland Trust “invasive non-native species are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss” and over 30% of important plant areas contain invasive species. How do we tackle this issue? Well, will I be so bold as to suggest foraging! Yes, foraging is one way that we can help to reclaim the natural eco-system and improve the quality of life for our native plants and trees.

Let’s think about other ways that we can begin to think locally, eat locally and create a sustainable environment that feeds future populations. Do you eat your local fruits and plants? If you have a local food story to share we would love to hear from you.

Feel free to listen to the podcast version of this article on our YouTube channel

Join in our wild food experiences and come foraging for invasive plant species on one of our guided foraging experiences.

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Nature podcasts for easy listening outdoors

This week we have chosen 5 of our favourite podcasts for nature lovers.

Do you love to listen to podcasts on the way to work or on the way home? Do you listen to podcasts while you are cooking in the evening? Do you listen to podcasts when you head out for a walk? So do we! We have found a few epic podcasts for nature lovers. If you are interested in sustainable lifestyles, the power of plants, the GIY trends around the world and adventures into nature than these podcasts will be right up your street.

Get out your earphones and head out for a walk while listening to some of the fantastic episodes in the below podcasts. From inspiring stories to in-depth interviews with the experts, learn something new each week.

FROM ROOTS TO RICHES BY BBC4

If you are looking for short snippets of the impact of plants and the natural world around us then the 15 minute, bite sized podcasts from Kathy Willis are a fantastic resource. Where we are introduced to some of the most amazing plants that. Kathy Willis discusses the importance of green spaces in our society. 

PAUL STAMETS ON JOE ROGAN

If you are a mushroom lover, a mushroom hunter or simply curious about the natural world then this podcast will blow your mind. Paul is an expert mychologist and mushroom King. He truly believes in the power of mushrooms and his passion for these magical species will leave you wanting more. In two separate discussions Paul illustrates the power of mushrooms and how they are an essential component of the earths eco-system. Listen and learn with this one! 

SHE EXPLORES

Named among ITunes 2016’s top debut podcasts, She Explores, empowers women to share their stories and to connect with a community of talented and diverse female artists, adventurers, and outdoor advocates. Filled with powerful stories about overcoming insecurities and conquering incredible feats, this podcast will keep you coming back again and again.

OUT THERE

Hosted by a former Wyoming NPR reporter, Out There explores the relationship between people and wild environments. From deciding where to settle down to transformational outdoor encounters, this podcast offers a passionate discussion on our role in the environment and how we can achieve perspective in outdoor settings.

WILD IDEAS WORTH LIVING

No crazy adventure idea is out of reach to this podcast host. Covering everything from snowboarding and mountaineering to the health benefits of being in nature, this podcast will open your eyes to real life examples of people living unconventionally through the power of adventure! You won’t want to go back to your day job after hearing these stories of people and brands who have turned their wild ideas into reality. We particularly loved The Adventure of Self-Love with Sarah Herron, an inspiring story about breaking out of your comfort zone.

There are so many interesting and thought provoking podcasts out there it was difficult to narrow it down to just 5 but we will continue listening and keep you updated on any episodes for nature lovers.

If you have more nature podcasts to add to our list we would love to hear about them.

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10 Unusual Mushrooms to find in the Woods

We are always fascinated by nature and the wild world around us. Mushrooms provide an extra element of surprise as you never know where exactly they will turn up.

Yes, there are certain trees that are associated with certain species of mushroom but they may not always appear. This is what makes hunting for mushrooms an extra special foraging activity. People who specialise in the study of mushrooms are called Mycologists and these guys are the experts. Paul Stamets would be considered an expert in all things mushroom related and we would highly recommend a watch of his Ted Talk if you get some time.

As amateurs who have only been studying mushroom for a few years we would never claim to be experts in this area. However, we have identified some wonderful mushroom and we know enough about the popular types to put some delicious dishes together.

1. Cep AKA porcini

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We love stumbling upon Ceps. This is one of the more famous mushrooms around the world and a regular feature in Italian cuisine. Ceps are fairly common from late summer to the end of Autumn but they are often hidden in the high grass. These popular mushrooms taste is delicious.

2. Collared Earthstar

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This is the strangest looking mushroom we have ever stumbled upon. Usually found under hardwood trees. When the rain falls on this mushroom the spores escape, creating an errie smoke.

3. Giant Funnel Fungi – Giant leucopax

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These grow plentiful in Britain and Ireland during the Autumn months. The cap is white and funnel shaped. It is known as an edible mushrooms but all mushrooms should be eaten in small portions.

4. Shaggy Inkcap

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AKA The Lawyers Wig. This tasty mushroom should be eaten very soon after it is picked. They are common in Ireland and often found on the edges of pathways or open woodlands.

5. Puffballs

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AKA Lycoperdon perlatum, the common puffball is a friendly looking mushroom and edible when young. They are found in all types of woodland and only the young ones are edible as the spores turn a horrid mustard colour as they grow.

6. Stinkhorn

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You will spot this crazy looking mushroom from afar. We found two this year. One standing up straight and one flopped over towards the end of Autumn. He was obviously said that the season was finishing up. It smells disgusting and you would want to have a very strange palette to even consider eating it.

7. Amethyst Deceiver

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This is one of my favourite types of mushroom and they are deceivingly delicious to taste. These small purple mushrooms are easy enough to find in mixed woodlands, often under beech trees.

8. Winter Chanterelles

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A firm favourite of all who have tried these delicious mushrooms and often easier to find than their sought after cousin. Winter chanterelles are a tasty treat in Autumn.

9. Honey Fungus

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In Eastern European countries this yellow stained mushroom, aka Armillaria, is one of the most prized mushrooms. It has a distinct nutty flavour but be careful of look-a-like species.

10. The Fly Agaric

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Aka Amanita Muscaria, these mushroom appear in Autumn and add a spot of brightness to the damp woods. They are a vibrant red colour and often produce white spots on their caps. Both Alice and Wonderland and the Super Mario Brothers game feature these magical mushrooms. These guys are considered poisonous and have hallucinogenic properties.

Fun Facts About Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms are neither a plant or an animal.
  • Some species of mushrooms have psychedelic properties that will make you hallucinate.
  • The chicken of the woods mushroom feels and tastes like fried chicken.
  • Over 200 species of mushrooms contain Psilocybin, the ingredient that causes hallucinations.
  • Different species of mushroom can be used to produce dyes and vivid colours.

To join us on one of our foraging adventures and learn more about mushrooms please contact our team.

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Reflections on Foraging my Way Through Life

For those of you who have a curious mind but are often jumping from one idea to the next then foraging might be just for you. I have a tendency to plough through life like it is one long episode of back to the future. Going from place to place, idea to idea, job to job and always trying to solve an insolvable issue as I go. Do I seem like a bit of an Aquarius? Yes, this is me. There is rarely a moment when my mind isn’t racing to grab the next opportunity.

When I was introduced to foraging by my mother and my grandfather I thought that it was a thing that every child did when they were growing up. Just like picking blackberries on an Autumn’s day. Didn’t you pick winkles and mushrooms too? Sometimes the answer was no and so my mission to forage with the masses began. For me life has always been one great foraging adventure. I seek the wildness in the mundane, I approach business like an arts and crafts project, I never considered myself an innovator but I grew to love innovation.

When I was young my mother would tell us stories of how Dad would try to invent the next big thing. He would write his big idea on an A4 piece of paper, put it into a briefcase and stroll up to the bank to get the funding he needed to take over the world with his brainstorming session. It is safe to say that the banks needed more than 1 sheet of A4 paper. However, this approach to entrepreneurship stayed with me. If you have a passion for something than give it a try.

Determination and effort were two concepts that seemed to come natural. I am not afraid of hard work. Being Irish helps. I think as a culture we always feel like the under dog, forcing us to re-imagine possibilities. However, these two traits don’t necessarily lead to success. Focus was always a struggle for me. No sooner would I have one project completed than I would be on to the next, not even staying to find out the results and listen to the feedback. Hell no, that was yesterday. What’s happening tomorrow? I got a bit of slack for this.

Although many of my ideas would work for a client I was bored when they wanted a report or even asked how they could repeat the process. For me, the success of an idea is as much about the energy as the implementation and once that energy is burned through it is difficult to articulate the sense of urgency and opportunity it created at that one time. Ask me to think of the future and I am buzzing. Looking back at the past isn’t always necessary as long as you learn from your mistakes.

Now when people say that I need to focus on one thing I ask them why? The usual answer is that you can accomplish more if you focus on one thing and keep working on it. Foraging would be quite frustrating for somebody who basks in consistency as one day you find something, the next day it is gone. I say, everybody is different when it comes to their approach to productivity. Don’t try to conform, don’t change just because somebody wants you too, don’t give in to a preordained situation; Keep transforming and keep asking questions. This is the buzz, the drive and the passion that will allow you to live wholly.

This is why foraging is a perfect match for me and others. Once the mushroom season is over I am forced to rethink my surroundings, re-imagine the landscapes, study new herbs, plants and trees. Nature wants you to focus for a period of time but doesn’t feel it is necessary to sit at a desk for 45 hours a week. Nature asks you to discover, to seek, to explore and to wander about the spaces around you.

I just wanted to put this out there for any creatives that struggle to stay focused. You don’t have to be doing the same thing, find a way to use your creative energy and you will find success. Find something where you are forced to re-imagine the possible outcomes and you will learn to love what you do.

You are free to listen to this article here on our dedicated YouTube channel.

To learn more about our foraging adventures please get in touch with us.

Happy Foraging!

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