The seasonal wild food selections offer you an at-a-glance guide as to what plants and plant parts are currently in season. If you also using my handy colour coded, seasonal harvest charts, available as a download from my foraging Resources Shop, you can quickly discover which parts can be harvested from a particular plant, and when to do so.
Foraging through the seasons, and especially in your local areas over the same old ground, allows you to fully appreciate the ebb and flow of wild plant life. You quickly become aware of the vast wild food resources we have here in Britain, and can plan your foraging quests for specific harvesting peaks of a few choice plants.
Unless covered by thick blankets of snow and hard frost, there will always be wild foods you can harvest here in the UK, at any time of year. If a particular harvesting window has shut, then you then have the rest of the year to gaze through it and plan, until the aptly phrased ‘foraging carousel’ comes around again!
Until the gulf stream shuts down, it’s worth remembering that the very South Western corner of Britain offers the warmest climate found in the UK, and therefore this will be the site of the earliest appearance for many of our plant species. The Eastern side of Britain is the driest, especially East Anglia and Kent.
A good rough rule of thumb to remember is that for every 100 metres increase in altitude, you regress one week in terms of flowering times. Similarly, when traveling northwards, every 120 miles or so brings you back a week.
This is why the first daffodils of the season were traditionally picked from the Scilly Isles and Cornwall, while the last of the season are picked in Scotland.
Harvesting dates are somewhat arbitrary anyway, because our actions as foragers are as a result of information received ‘on the ground’, and not just from theory.
Soil, aspect, and micro-climate all affect the growth of a given plant in a given location, and these factors are modified with the time of year and temperature. In a nutshell, keep your eyes peeled, and your spider senses ready!