Podcast

GO TO GROW PODCAST: Coastal Foraging Adventure in Ireland

We have a special podcast from the west of Ireland to give you some insights into coastal foraging along the Wild Atlantic Way

You are never guaranteed to get warm weather when walking by the shore in Ireland. Raindrops comes in all shapes and sizes, tiny drops that sprinkle the ground, sideways rain that catches you off guard, warm drizzling rain that soaks you to the bone but all of these weather conditions combine to make it extra rewarding with you stumble upon some unique culinary treats.

From fresh mussels clinging to the sides of rock pools to the shy winkles hiding beneath the brown seaweed. You will find everything you need for a warm cup of seafood chowder along the Irish coastline. My first coastal foraging excursion was fruitful.

As a child my mother would buy us small plastic buckets and short fishing rods to scoop out the seaweed from the giant rockpools all along the Co.Clare coastlines. Picking was part of every stage of growing up. From child to adolescent I made the transition from bucket to bag and back again when picking along the shore.

My grandfather would take the whole family to a nearby beach and we would eagerly wait until the tide had gone fully out, revealing the rockpools, seaweed and most importantly the shellfish hiding underneath. The art of picking was simple, patience was the only real skill required.

Myself and my sister would spend hours scanning the shallow pools of water for the biggest winkles, crabs and mussels. Although all of the shellfish that we scoured for were easily identifiable, not all were easy to find.

Winkles were the easiest to collect. They tend to roll with the tide so it was not a matter of searching for them but more time was spent deciding on which ones to collect. I never tool the baby ones. This was my one rule for collecting winkles. Once you have avoiding the baby shells you can enjoy scooping out large handfuls of winkles alons most shorelines.

When it came to crabs I was always a little nervous to pick them up. Their claws would reach right out to stab pinch you if you were too quick. Sometimes we would just play with them for awhile before placing them carefully back in were they belonged. Laughing as they scrambled off to find their pals. Mussels were always considered the biggest treat. They clung tightly to the edges of rocks, making it more difficult to pull them off. Nothing can beat a pot of fresh mussels cooked in garlic and tomato juices. Give it a try. Believe me you won’t be disappointed.

Why not try a spot of razor clam hunting while you are by the shore. Simply bring some salt on your journey and seek out the small holes in the beach. Pour in the salt and watch in awe as the razor clams come to life.

Other favourites of mine include kelp and seaweed. These make delicious additions to salads. You can also use them to enhance the flavour of any seafood dish.

DON’T let the weather prevent you from your next adventure. Remember that a little rain never hurt anyone. If you happen to get a sunny day then take advantage of it, spending a few hours by the shore.

LEAVE enough for others. Everyday we hear warnings of over fishing so be mindful of this when you are foraging by the sea. Only pick enough for one days pickings, giving the shores time to replenish its goods over time.

WEAR suitable clothing. This is key to any foraging adventure. Waterproof shoes comes in handy when you playing in rockpools. Also, bring a spare pair of socks to keep your feet dry.

KNOW the tides. Most countries will offer websites that give you the times of the tidal currents. Keep a close eye on these. You don’t want to venture all the way to the beach to find that you have to wait five hours until the tide recedes.

DON’T be afraid of seaweed or crabs. The waves may look rough but the sea is gentle with many varieties of produce to try. You never know what treasures you will find.

To join us for a coastal foraging adventure get in touch anytime at info@orchardsnearme.com

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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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How to reduce fruit waste?

At Orchardsnearme.com we want to help you to be more food friendly, choose to give the environment a hug and really appreciate the land around you. This is what we are all about so do you want to be more fruit friendly and reduce waste? We have a few tips that can help you use the best of what is on and off the shelves at different seasons.

Today everyone is asking you to go green, be more sustainable and think of the environment but do the major shopping centres tell you where their fruit is coming from, how the farmers are treated and squeezed for margin?

We don’t really know how they undergo the selection process when choosing the fruit to display on the shelves. All we can see the best and brightest fruits make it home to our fruit bowls. So where is the rest? A report by the UK’s Global Food Security Group programme found that over two fifths of all fruit can be wasted because it is considered ugly. Now is a good time to say that we love the ugly duckling. In a plastic filled world where botox is trending and filtered selfies are the norm let us not forgot that our individual blemishes are what make us unique.

So if you are looking for the peaches with the dimples check out your local market stalls. They don’t seem to discriminate against misshapen fruit as much as the larger chains. Go into any organic shop to discover dimpled fruits. Be conscious and actively choose the loneliest fruit on the block.

Another interesting study has highlighted the quality of scarred fruits and the results are pretty postitive. If we always picks the aesthetically pleasing fruit it may not be the tastiest. According the a cambridge review study from 2014 found that organic fruit had lower pesticide content and up to a 40 percent higher antioxidant content. So we say to all of our fruit loving friends enjoy the fruit with all of its scars and dimples.

Here’s an idea for a fun night in, do a fun blind taste test for friends at home. Buy several pieces of fruit at different stores and slice them up for friends. I’ve tried this and there is no comparison between the water injected fruit found in many stories versus the organically less modified fruit found on local stores. The latter being simply delicious. We usually have a few bottles of cider to wash the fruit down. Happy Tasting y’all!

Here are our simple tips to help reduce fruit waste:

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If you have any sustainable fruit or food tips please contact our team and we will do our best to share them with the fruit picking community.

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