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Can Nature Therapy Help Us to Live Mindfully?

Can nature therapy help us to live mindfully? If we are seeking to live In times of uncertainty we tend to float towards the familiar; the morning routine that helps us to start the day, the habits that keep us grounded, the meals that provide comfort and the people that love us unconditionally. However, we also crave the excitement and adreneline of the new. Adventure is now firmly embedded as a popular form of holiday to be taken each year.

This familiarity and newness that nature brings with every season is one reason why nature is so important in our everyday lives.

What is Nature therapy?

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Nature therapy, sometimes referred to as eco-therapy, describes a broad group of techniques or treatments with the intention of improving an individual’s mental or physical health, specifically with an individual’s presence within nature or outdoor surroundings (Source: Wikipedia)

Nature therapy is anyway in which our senses are connected to the natural world around us. It often involves some kind of outdoor activity and enables us to live mindfully, in the moment, turning off our busy minds.

Keats celebrated nature and all of the elements within his natural surroundings. As a romantic poet he basked in the natural environment, admiring its ability to heal us.

“O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep, —
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,forest-bathing-nature-therapyIts flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell” John Keats

How to Live Mindfully with Nature

There are many ways that we can choose to live mindfully with nature. From guided walks to gardening, nature related activities help us to disconnect and eliminate distractions.

  • When you go out for your next walk in the wild practice the art of observation. Look up at the trees, admire the flowers, search for the cracks in nature and allow your sense of sight to explore all of the elements around you. The simple activity can help you towards mindful living.
  • Enjoy discovering wild food with the art of Foraging. This is one of our favourite mindful outdoor activities. There is no better way to plunge into the natural world then to taste it. Learning about the wild plant species and how to use them in our very own recipes is the ultimate reward when it comes to mindfully engaged nature therapy. Download our foraging planner pack to get started.
  • Listen to the sounds of the birds, the trees swaying, the bees buzzing and know that guided-walks-nature-therapynature is alive and well. The restorative power of natural sounds is worth exploring.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities that allow you to immerse yourself in your natural surroundings; sea swimming, walking, running, cycling and gardening are just a handful of the many outdoor activities that connect us with nature.
  • Learn about the many bird species as you engage in bird watching. You may need a pair of binoculars for this activity but even without them, watching the many beautiful birds and how they interact with the landscape it fascinating.
  • Study the plants like you have never seen them before. Many wild plants, trees and flowers become familiar sights throughout the seasons but do you know their scientific names? Do you know that many of them are used by herbalists? Do you know which ones are poisonous? Learning botany can be a lifelong passion.
  • Take your camera for a stroll. Photography is a skill that takes time to master but we all enjoy capturing those memorable moments. Use your photography skills to observe your natural surroundings and focus your lens on one or two important shots.
  • What do all of these activities have in common? They take place outdoors, in our natural environments and they don’t cost a thing if you wanted to try one today.

If you want to embark on a week long excursion or book a guide to do a tour and learn a new skill you are going to have to fork out some cash but once you are aware of the benefits of immersion in the natural world, it is always worth learning more. Believe me if you have experienced a holiday where nature is a key feature such as foraging in Europe or guided walking holidays, you will find it hard to go back to lounging at the pool for the week. Live mindfully as much as you can throughout the year with the activities above but once a year treat yourself to a special break away on one of our recommended tours and enjoy the nature that somewhere new has to offer.

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Virtual Nature Experiences

The subject of visual healing is not a new phenomenon. It is proven over centuries through the use of various art forms in therapeautic settings. Art therapy has been used in the history of mental health treatment so it makes sense that visual therapy offers the ability to reduce stress and inspire wellbeing. The term was officially coined in 1942 however is it clear from the renaissance art of the 14th century that appreciation for visual representations that evoke feelings and depict reality begin to come to the forefront. This notion of art as an expression of moods is developed further in the 20th century with renowned artists like Vincent Van Gogh using his paintings to reflect a mood at a point in time. Nature can also be used to reflect the mood of the seasons and give us living art and moving visuals to reflect upon.

What is new is the combination of virtual experiences and how we interpret moving visuals. By combining natural visuals with technology we can incorporate nature therapy into our everyday lives without leaving our homes. From scanning Google Earth to watching videos of surfers take on the waves of the Atlantic to using outdoor meditation videos on YouTube to practice meditation in your living room. The mechanisms needed to incorporate nature therapy into our lives is all around us. These applications will become more dominant as we increase our need to associate with the natural world, seeking out spaces that allow us to be live mindfully and peacefully.

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Spring Cleaning: 5 Ways to Use Cleavers

Cleavers aka Sticky Willies aka Goosegrass is a herbal treat in Springtime.

It is an annual sticky plant that you will find in your parks and woodland walks. They have small star shaped flowers attached to their pointy leaves. If you brush up against it you won’t need to pick it as it will naturally stick to any piece of clothing.

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Traditionally used to cleanse the blood and strenghten the liver, cleavers are particularly useful for a spring cleaning tonic. Native Indian tribes used this plant as an anti-inflammatory and to help with gonorrhoea. The cleansing properties can help to get rid of toxins in the body and decrease congestion. It has also been reported to help with Urinary tract infections and swollen lymph nodes. They can help to protect the lining of the bladder from irritation. Cleavers are also rich in silica, used to strengthen hair, nails and teeth. It may be worth adding a little cleaver smoothie to your beauty routine in Springtime.

Ways to Use Cleavers

Cleaver infused Water

This is the perfect afternoon refresher on a bright Spring day. Pick the young stems of the plant before they growth tall. Rinse them gently under water and chop finely. Add to a jug or bottle of water and let them infuse over night in the fridge. Add a slice of lemon to your glass and pour over the infused cleaver water.

Cleaver and Nettle Smoothie

Cleavers, nettles and pears are all that you need to make this delicious, healthy Spring smoothie. Packed full of nutrition and made to detox the body, this delicious smoothie is just what the doctor ordered. Blend 1 bunch of cleavers, 1 bunch of boiled nettles and 2 pears together. Add crushed ice, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprig of mint for extra flavour.

Herbal Cleaver Tea

Harvest your cleavers, leave them dry out for a few days, cut them into tiny pieces and use them with a spoonful of honey for a soothing cup of tea.

Cleaver Infused Oil

Dried cleavers and almond oil makes the perfect massage therapy. Put a half a cup of dried cleavers in a jar, fill the jar with almond oil and leave to infuse for two weeks. Enjoy this herbal skin treat.

Cleaver, Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup

Tis the season for green, wild soup and there are plenty of delicious plants out there to add to your homemade soup recipes. For this one we use 1 cup of cleavers, 1 cup of boiled nettles, 1/2 cup of chopped wild garlic or three cornered leek and two large potatoes. Boil the potatoes, add all contents to a pot of cold water and boil until bubbling hot. Add salt and pepper. Blend the ingredients together. Serve with some fresh, warm bread.

Note: Cleavers have a high tannin content and it is generally advised that you don’t use it or consume it for long periods of time.

This plant is natures way of telling us that we need to Spring clean our bodies as well as our houses. There are so many ways to use cleavers in your foraging recipes but hopefully the above tips will give you some food for thought. This plant is one of the reasons why foraging in Springtime is so much fun.

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Climate Change and the Future of Food

How will we cope with any scarcity of food in the future if we don’t learn about our sources of food today? There is an alarming amount of coverage about the adverse effects of climate change on our eco-system. There are many ways that our food production could change in the future and climate change could have a severe impact in the foods that we already consume today.

It has been reported that our oceans are absorbing much of the heat from greenhouse gas emissions and this is damaging our coral reefs which are key breeding grounds for our marine life. Where will our fish go to survive? And with the pressure on farmers to pivot away from traditional beef farming where will we source or meat from?

Now isn’t the time to panic, its the time to plan and make some food choices that will help us to better understand the foods around us.Of course there are innovators coming up with brilliant solutions and there are farmers schemes like CSA’s that are re-imagining modern farming but we could also take a closer look at the forgotten, often ignored food sources, such as weeds. This week we present foraging as one way to substitute some of our key ingredients. 

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A series of freak climate events in the 1870s caused a Global drought that resulted in the death of millions of people. In India it was known as the Great Famine. The most significant climate event was El Nino of 1877 where warm waters released heat into the air creating storms. In addition to the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and the Atlantic recorded higher temperatures than normal.

Today, we rarely find famines in the developed world. The majority of famines hit places where organisations cannot enter and trade issues are hurting local people. However, with all of these climate unknowns in front of us we must be prepared to take action in the case of a climate crisis. Eating local and community supported agriculture, known as CSA’s, have become trendy in recent years. 

We hear about many people adopting sustainable agricultural practices and promoting community food initiative. They are not just farming enthusiasts but socially engaged individuals who enjoy spending time outdoors and learning about the land around them. A few examples to look up include Juniper Hill Farms and Moy Hill Farms. These farming communities should be admired for the innovative approach to farming. They also encourage the sharing of knowledge, which we love here at Orchards Near Me. 

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However, there are other opportunities if we decide to broaden our knowledge base and look at the traditional farming methods of nearby regions. It could be just as beneficial to learn about the foods coming from nearby resources. For example, in Europe we have many different climates that lead to the production of a wide variety of food species. In a time of crisis wouldn’t it be great to know what foods could your neighbours offer as a substitute if you run out? We believe this is all about immersive farming education and understanding the role of nature in the production of food.

Chefs from around the world, often privileged and guys that are striving for their next Michelin star love to travel to learn about other food cultures. We think the general public can also get it on this interesting past-time. Learning about the ancient art of crushing grapes in France or discovering why bee keeping is a national tradition in Slovenia or why the warm summer days of Bulgaria led to the popular cold soup of Tarator are ways to preserve traditions and carry them into the future.

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Food is closely linked with the weather and geography of a region or country. Traditional dishes often reflect the mood associated with the climate. The proximity to the wild atlantic coast makes Portugal heaven for fish lovers and the cultivation of fruits and olives makes Greece a mecka for salad eaters. 

If we begin to understand the landscapes around us and how they are affected by the climate we can better educate ourselves in food production and regain knowledge of how our ancestors used wild plants and integrated them into their dishes. Although large corporations have successfully harvested key ingredients for human consumption and distributed major crops around the world, it is also worth knowing about the lesser known and lesser used crops that can act as substitutes if the time comes when we need them too. This is one of the reasons why we encourage foraging and learning about the wild plants around you. 

There is enough food to feed the masses as long as we teach ourselves about the food sources available to us and re-train our palettes so that we can adapt dishes to include some wild flavours. 

Feel Free to listen to the Go to Grow podcast version of this article on our YouTube Channel

For more food rants and foraging adventures please get in touch with us.

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Bespoke Workbooks for Wild Food Lovers

Every season we try to keep track of all of our wild food finds. We write them down, put them alongside new recipes that we try out and try to remember the locations of the plant. It is difficult to remember every trail and every outdoor adventure throughout the year so we have designed bespoke worksheets for our foraging adventures and our herb garden.

Each pack contains everything you need to start planning your wild food adventures. It should allow you to get organised and keep a record of your progress when you are learning about the herbs and wild plants around you. Each workbook contains 15 pages that are downloadable and reusable for your seasonal experiences.

The foraging planner workbook includes a journal, a trail tracker, a seasonal worksheet and goal setting worksheets. GET YOUR FORAGING WORKBOOK HERE

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The Herb planner workbook includes seasonal herbs, recipe sheets, a trail tracker, a herb journal and a herb diary. GET YOUR HERB WORKBOOK HERE

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We hope that you enjoy our bespoke workbooks for all of your wild food adventures.

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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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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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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What’s in Season? Foraging in October

Bolete Mushrooms, hazelnuts, rosehips and sloes are four of our favourite wild edibles for the month of October. Ripe fruits are falling, fungi is calling and it is time to step into nature. Autumn is the perfect time to stock up on some foraged treats.

What you could find

Rowen Berries

The distinctive orange Rowen berries grow in large groups and pair well with any red meat. The berries are also packed with Vitamin C.

Elderberries

Elderberries are ripe on the trees right now. Their deep purple colour is easily spotted parks and woodlands across the UK and Ireland. Used to combat the flu, elderberry jam is a great plant for combating the winter cold.

Sloes

Have you heard of Sloe gin? Gin is all the rage at the moment so Im sure you have. Sloe gin is delicious but it takes awhile to allow the gin soak up the berry juices. Three ingredients: Sloe berries, sugar and gin. Put a lid on it until Christmas time and you will have the perfect after dinner cocktail.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnut moose has become a firm favourite here at Orchards Near me and these delicious nuts are plentiful when foraging in October.

Blackberries

It is hard to pass through a park that doesn’t have a blackberry bush here in Ireland. We consider ourselves to be very lucky at this time of year. The bushes are bursting with black juiciness and it is the perfect time to stock up on jam for the winter months.

Pullball mushrooms

We don’t list too many mushrooms as their are over 10,000 species to be found, many of which are poisonous. Identifying mushrooms is an art all by itself. Examining the cap, the gills and the stem is all part of the process. Pullballs are one of the easiest to identify and can be picked up in local woodlands throughout Europe.

Rosehips

Packed with Vitamin C this winter fruit is the perfect addition to your herbal teas. Simply wash the hips, leave them to dry out over a few days, add them to a pot of boiling water, strain and enjoy!

Other wild edibles to keep an eye out for in the month of October include: Acorns (must be leached), Apples, Walnuts, Bolete Mushrooms, Chickweed, Chestnuts, Dandelions, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms, Mint, Plantain, Prickly Pears, Shaggy Mane Mushrooms, Sheep Sorrel and Wild Grapes.

When and where to go foraging

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Nature is all around us, all you need to do is look up and go for a stroll in the woodlands. Depending on what you are looking for you will be greeted by different plant varieties everywhere you go. When mushroom hunting it is best to find your local forest or team up with a local forager who knows the area. Herbs grow plentiful all year round but spring and summer are bursting with herbal goodness. Berries and mushrooms appear in Autumn.

What you will need for your Foraging Adventure

  • A pair of scissors, or a good pocket knife.
  • A wicker basket or some reusable container.
  • Gloves
  • Sturdy shoes or boots
  • Long sleeves and pants (trousers) to protect from nettles, thorns and poison ivy
  • A small notebook for keeping track of all of your finds.

Resources

Download your Foragers Planner Pack

Get our Free Foraging Tips: A 6 week guide for beginner foragers!

Join us for some foraging adventures to learn about the Wild plants around you.

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Sustainable Living: Get curious about your food!

Whether your concerned about using less energy, saving the trees or conserving water, sustainable living can help you to support these causes. Learning about the natural world around you can help you towards a more sustainable lifestyle. It is all about pairing back to basics and understanding that a simple life with less can have huge benefits on the environment and your mental health.

One way to take action is to learn about the foods you consume on a weekly basic. Think about what goes into your shopping basket. Do you know how many items are grown or produced locally? Can you tell the difference between organic produce and mass produced goods? Do you buy more food than you actually need and end up throwing out a lot of food at the end of a week?

Most of us do so don’t worry, we can take small steps to cut down on food waste and make our home more sustainable.

13 Steps Towards a Sustainable Living

  1. Grind the fruit and vegetable peels into delicious juices
  2. Repurpose jars and containers
  3. Spend time outdoors, learning about the wild produce around you
  4. Start composting at home
  5. Make homemade cleaning products (did you know that the acid in Lemons is antibacterial?)
  6. Limit the use of hot water
  7. Plant a tree with a friend
  8. Cut down on your meat intake
  9. Prepare home cooked meals with local ingredients
  10. Create a shopping list and try to stick to it
  11. Look for fairtrade symbols and certifications on products
  12. Choose ethical brands
  13. Research ingredients

There are plenty of ways that we can begin to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Our foraging tours will teach you about the wild plants and delicious herbs plucked straight from nature. Investing in life long learning is the perfect excuse to get outdoors, learn something new and give back to the community around you. If you are interested in developing your wild plant knowledge then you can download our Foragers Planner Pack and Herb Planner Pack to start recording your activities.

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Discover Europe: Guided Food Tours 2020

Join us on our Guided Food tours in Europe 2020. From foraging along the wild atlantic shorelines of Ireland to the breathtaking mountains of Northern Italy, we have chosen four exceptional foodie experiences to share with you.

Our guided tours are perfect for those looking to make friends and share a special food adventure with a like-minded group. From the moment you arrive you will be looked after by our expert local guide. Each tour includes: an expert guide, accommodation, transfers, local traditional meals and a foraging guide.

Each guided tour lasts between 4 to 5 days and caters for a maximum of 15 persons. Contact us at info@orchardsnearme.com to secure your place.

A Taste of Ireland: Coast to Coast

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One of our most popular foraging experiences is coastal foraging along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. On this guided foraging adventure we explore the Irish woodlands, taste delicious homemade dishes, discover wild herbs, learn about the history of Ireland and embark on a coastal foraging experience with our local expert guide. An added bonus is our five course tasting menu that will delight your senses.

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A Taste of Italy: Truffles and Trails

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Starting in the stunning village of Alba in the Piedmont region of Italy. Renowned for its famous white truffles, this area is rich in nature and will leave you with lifelong memories to cherish. Our local guides have the inside scoop on the food treasures and history of the area. Your taste buds will thank you when you indulge in some of the most delicious Italian dishes on this food filled adventure.

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A Taste of France: Cider and Cheese

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Fruit lovers rejoice in this fruit filled region of France. On this magical wellness retreat we will cycle alongside the fruit trail in Normandy, stopping by the castles and ancient ruins to sample the delicious local ciders and cheese along the way.

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A Taste of Portugal: Valleys and Vineyards

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Taking in the charming hilly streets of Porto and the epic views of the Douro Valley, this guided food adventure is ideal for those who want the perfect balance of city life and escapes to the countryside. Starting in the lively town of Porto and tasting the local pinchos is a treat before we embark on a unique journey to discover some of the best vineyards of the Douro with our expert local guides.

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To secure a place or learn more about any of our Guided Food Tours for 2020 please contact us at info@orchardsnearme.com

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