Foraging and Foodie Trails

Nature and Nurture Retreat with Sarah Fox

Nature and Nurture Yoga & Foraging Retreat, Kilkenny

How did you celebrate St Patricks’ Day?

I took myself along to Kilmacow in Co Kilkenny which is located on the the Waterford border for a unique restorative day with Sarah Fox of Shining Light Wellness.  Sarah runs a number of Yoga and Herbal Medicine Retreats throughout the country and teaches Yoga at many venues including Earthwise Yoga in Bree,Co Wexford where I recently did my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
Having trained with Sarah I knew about her indepth knowledge of plants and herbal medicine and this, along with ‘Yoga by the fire’ is what attracted me to this particular event. 
So, having arrived bright and early (thank goodness for Google Maps!) Sarahs’ lovely mum Mary welcomed me into the house where there was some very excellent coffee and homemade oat, orange and chocolate treats awaiting. Once all the guests had arrived we relaxed and had a chat over coffee/ homemade herbal teas, getting to know one another. I was personally delighted to see the lovely Orlaith, one my ex Yoga student colleagues there and without further ado we headed into the beautifully high ceiling Yoga room for a few hours of Chakra chanting and Yin Yoga.
Now, I for one was not a huge fan of chanting as it takes me outside my comfort zone, however, as Sarah explained each ‘seed’ word for each Chakra and what it related to I found myself enthusiastically joining in and literally began to feel my heart lighten and inner strength begin to vibrate and grow. When you attend a retreat like this it is good to remember that everyone is feeling a bit awkward at first so I do find it best to leave the ‘ego’ at the door and just jump in. 😉 
Bija ( Bija means seed) Mantras- The Sounds of the Chakras: LAM VAM RAM YAM HAM OM

  • “LAM”- chakra 1 (root)
  • “VAM”- chakra 2 (sacral/navel)
  • “RAM”- chakra 3 (solar plexus)
  • “YAM”- chakra 4 (heart)
  • “HAM”- chakra 5 (throat)
  • “OM”- chakra 6 (third eye/brow)
  • “OM”- chakra 7 (crown)

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Chanting was followed by some gorgeous Yin Yoga for joint and nervous system health, flexibility, mobility and integrity. We also used relaxation and breathing techniques where we held certain positions for a while enabling a full stretch and strengthening of the body before it was time for lunch.
Lunch was a delicious spread of homemade breads, fruits, banana pancakes (make using one banana, 2 eggs and a handful of oats), locally sourced jam and natural yoghurt. Seriously Yum! 
After lunch we headed out across the road to a nearby river for a spot of herbal medicine foraging. Sarah explained the uses of many plants including daisies – aerial parts all edible but also our national arnica (to relieve bruises)
She also explained how Plantain is good for tissues and anti-inflammatory thus also good for lung health and how Navel Wort (looks like a belly button plant) can be used as a natural Aloe Vera type plant. We gathered (after asking the plant first) some young nettles and headed back to the house for the creative part of the day.
Cosily ensconced in the kitchen dining room by a roaring fire Sarah proceeded to explain and demonstrate how to make a beautifully rich skin cream using dried marigold flowers, beeswax and organic sunflower oil – (she mentioned how grapeseed oil can help acne prone skin as an alternative to sunflower oil) which was blended together (again you will need to join Sarah on one of her workshops to find out the exact method) to form a delicious deep moisturising skincream- one which I lathered all over my body that evening and had the most restful sleep EVER waking up to feel supple and beautiful. Yay! 
We also made some amazing pesto using the nettles gathered earlier and mixed with some basil leaves, salt and pepper, cashew nuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan. Mmmm.  Sarah spoke of alternative ingredients as well as tinctures that can benefit a number of ailments including migraines. 
The conversation was of sharing and we swapped many recipes amongst ourselves one of which was a delicious sounding port for those of us who make sloe gin – using the gin soaked sloes after the sloe gin has been decanted and adding them to a mix of good quality red wine and brandy then leaving for 6 months or more for a stunning port. One I shall try this year….
After our homemade remedies we retired again to the Yoga room for a spell of active Yoga followed by a restful Yoga Nidra meditation to end the day. Dinner was to follow but I had to leave early unfortunately however it looked and smelt delicious – all vegetarian food – what a spread. Was gutted I had to leave but duty called. 
All in all I had a fantastic day and came home feeling inspired and happy. I recommend you check out Sarahs’ events on her Facebook page here as she offers a range of unique workshops and events sure to be of interest to many of our readers including one like this on April 14th – Booking essential!
Tell her we sent ya! 
Namaste! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Forage Wild Food and Herbs on Your Own Land or Garden

Land Foraging Survey Service for Wild Edibles

I’ve been on a quite a few wild food foraging events with a variety of expert foragers both here and in the UK yet I still walk about my large garden and wonder what wild edibles are right under my feet! In fact a circle of mushrooms suddenly appeared a week ago and whilst I was 99% sure they were edible field mushrooms I just wasn’t that 100% that you need to be. 
I do know how to identify a fair few berries and wild salads but I know from my foraging experiences that there is SO MUCH MORE food right there on my doorstep if only I could be sure. So imagine my delight to discover that local forager and herbalist Vivienne Campbell offers a ‘land survey service’ where she will walk your land with you and show you how to identify edible and therapeutic wild foods and flowers growing in your space. 

Did you know that many wild and cultivated plants are edible and therapeutic? Wild plants such as meadowsweet and sorrel make tasty additions to the dinner table as do some cultivated plants such as lavender and roses. Plants are not ornaments! Learn to identify plants that are safe to use at home. Enrich your life, expand your palate, enjoy the process!
Do you have your own garden or land (field, wild space etc.)?
Would you love to be able to use the plants that are on your land but are afraid to because you don’t know which plants are poisonous and which are edible?
Would you love to know what’s growing on your land?
Have a farm? Want to know what is growing there that you can use to improve the health of your animals.  ~ theherbalhub.com/land-survey-service

It sounds like a service I want to try out so I will be booking her for a space in her May-September schedule next year! 
Discover more about Viviennes’ service and sign up for her online foraging courses at theherbalhub.com

Seaweed Foraging – Irelands Ancient Feast

Those of you who know me know I am a great lover of nature and incorporating that into a bit of an adventurous day out is what I love! 

Having been out on one of these seaweed foraging experiences I can heartily recommend this as a unique and fun adventurous day out! 

We have been inspired by the Ireland’s Ancient East concept to think about the earliest, ancient settlers of this island, and what foods they lived on.We have researched the plant and animal species living here at the time, about 8,000 years ago and created a range of dishes based on what was available to those Mesolithic people. With some concessions to modern tastes, we hope to share that on the new moon in July. We will start foraging on the shore for seaweeds and continue through the Anne Valley gathering wild plants. Come with a spirit of adventure and take a walk on the wild side!

Interested in an experience like this? Contact Roz Today>> 
 

Learn About Wild Food, Foraging and More

Wild Food Summer School 2015 #WFSS15

Blackstairs Ecotrails are holding their second Wild Food Summer School this September – 11,12 & 13th at the lovely ‘Old Rectory in Killedmond, Carlow.

They have added a number of new events and made it a much more family friendly event this year with a brilliant line up for kids on the Saturday and for all you foodies out there!
he-Forager-Handbook-Edible-BritainThere’ll be the chance to forage with  Miles Irving Author of the Forager’s Handbook – The Bible for foragers, on Friday at 11.20am, cheese making workshops, use of herbs and wild foods in cooking workshops, artisan food stalls, as well as GIY talks and Wild food & Craft Beer pairings!
For more information or to book your place visit  www.blackstairsecotrails.ie/wild-food-summer-school/
Tickets cost €60 (Friday only), €80 (Saturday only), €60 (Sunday only) or €190 for the full weekend. 

Wild Food Summer School 2015

More foraging, more great speakers, films, music,  Artisan Food stalls, Cheese making and  events for children. We also have a retrofitted ambulance  giving workshops on Up Cycling, Composting etc., facilitated by the Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI)
wildfood-summer-school

Waterford Harvest Festival 2015

Harvesting the sea in Waterford

Festival forager shines the spotlight on seaweed’s benefits

Marie Power, aka The Sea Gardener, is a Waterford-based seaweed forager, educator, food producer and author of a cookbook and foraging guide called “The Sea Garden.”
The Sea Gardener launched a range of healthy protein snack bars in 2014, and soon after, a savoury caponata, all containing her own special blend of seaweeds. These innovative and tasty foods are broadening the appeal of seaweeds. The products were very well received and are now stocked in stores in Waterford, Cork, Wexford, Kilkenny and Dublin.
Marie has always been interested in wildlife and she now combines her passion for food and ecology in The Sea Gardener business. “We are interested in the source of our food and in making the link between the origin and consumption of food as short and simple as possible.”
The Waterford Harvest Festival takes place from September 11th to 13th and Marie will be educating the public about the benefits of seaweed and showcasing her latest products as part of the Waterford Chamber Skillnet Big Taste tent in the city centre.
Marie Power with helpers    Image: Patrick Browne
Image: Patrick Browne
Marie Power, aka The Sea Gardener, foraging with helpers Katie and Harry Earl on Garrarus beach near Tramore in Co. Waterford. Marie’s book and seaweed products will be available for sale during the Waterford Harvest Festival, which runs from September 11th to 13th. www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie

Seaweed Forage Waterford This Saturday

Seaweed Forage with The Sea Gardener

We are DELIGHTED  to welcome our newest member, The Sea Gardener aka Marie Power to Eco Active! 
Come along this Saturday 18th July to experience her unique foraging event on the beautiful Copper Coast in Waterford.

Seaweed Forage Saturday July 18th on The Copper Coast, Waterford
We’ll meet on Saturday at Mother McHugh’s pub in Fenor village at 1pm on Saturday and travel to beach from there – 5 mins away.
(Fenor is about 6 km west of Tramore on the Coast Rd.).
We will identify the edible seaweeds, talk about the nutrients in the different species, along with cooking tips and using it in the garden.
And we’ll have a small picnic of seaweed-based foods to taste after the forage.
We should finish around 3.30 pm.
You’ll be on the rocks, so wear comfortable, waterproof shoes – wellies are OK, as are Reef sandals, Crocs or old runners you don’t mind getting wet..
And wear a few warm layers as it might be cooler on the shore.
It’s €25 and I will have copies of The Sea Garden too if you want to purchase.

To Book Email: info@theseagardener.ie or Tel: +353(0)86 8124275

Half Price Offer this Saturday Foraging

Special Offer For Blackstairs Foraging Event

foraging-workshopGrab this great offer: 5 places available at only €50  per person (normally €95 PP) for this Saturdays’ Foraging Workshop with Blackstairs Ecotrails!

A hands on full day workshop learning about safe wild food with foraging and cooking up what we find. Includes a three course organic lunch, information sheets and recipes.

More Details on Ecoactivetourism.com

Book via email to blackstairsecotrails@gmail.com stating €50 Offer via EcoActive

Foraging, Cookups and Family Fun

Eco Events Coming Up

Wild Food Summer School 2015

wildfood-summer-schoolThe second Wild Food Summer School will be held on September 11th,12 & 13th 2015 at the Old Rectory, Killedmond, Borris, Co. Carlow in the Blackstairs Ecotrails Eco Centre. Enjoy three days of foraging, debate, cook ups, great talks, demonstrations,Soap Box Talks,a selection of workshops and lots of stalls showcasing local artisan food.
Early booking advised – For more details click here >>

Guided heritage walk with a taste of shellfish along the Wild Atlantic Way at Strandhill in Sligo.

taste of sligo shellfish walkExperience a guided tour of an ancient shell midden site on stunning Culleenamore Strand with Auriel Robinson of Seatrails, where you will be greeted by Tra Ban Restaurant’s Head chef Mostafa Dadowah and proprietor Anthony Gray who will amaze you with an outdoor feast of fresh mussels cooked on an open fire.
July 26th – Pre booking essential!
For more details click here >>

Family Fun Eco Farm August Bank Holiday Weekend

family fun at crann og eco farm Enjoy a weekend of fun outdoor activities in the fabulous family friendly Crann Og Eco Farm – camp onsite or call for accommodation options.
Activities include Outdoor games in sand arena, Forest school & bushcraft, Nature arts, Campfire cooking , Slackline, Self defence, Sword fighting, Bellydancing ,Yoga for young and old, Farm yard activities, Pond dipping , Veg garden exploration, Face painting, Fancy dressing &  Campfire with storytelling, drumming, singing and much more! Booking essential – For more details click here >>

Weekend in the Hills Celt Workshop

celt workshopWeekend in the Hills is an exciting CELT (Centre for Environmental Learning and Teaching)2 day traditional skills workshop. Choose from basket weaving, long bow making, natural building, herbal remedies and lots more, including special workshops for children. September 26th and 27th 2015. For more details click here >>

KEEP UPDATED ON OUR EVENTS AT WWW.ECOACTIVETOURISM.COM

We're Off To Fungarvan!

West Waterford Food Festival Fun in Dungarvan!

Last year we had to cancel our trip to the annual West Waterford Foodie Fest in Dungarvan (aka Fungarvan) much to our disappointment, however, this year we are delighted to be able to make it down on Saturday 11th April to see what all the fuss is about!
The #wwfof15 is a feast of pleasures with local foraging events, farmers markets, foodie trails, craft beer tastings, LOADS of family fun events AND best of all it all takes place in one of Irelands’ true gems of a place – Dungarvan Co Waterford!
Find out more about it by visiting www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com and follow them on Twitter @WdFoodFestival checking out the hashtag #wwfof15  for the latest gossip!
Not on Twitter? Get on it- it’s fun , fast and reatime.. Meantime here’s their Facebook/WaterfordFoodFestival
http://www.westwaterfordfestivaloffood.com/
 
 
 
Hashtags to use for 2015:#wwfof15

Seaweed Foraging Events 2015

The Sea Gardener Foraging Events & Workshops

Marie Power aka The Sea Gardener runs a number of seaweed foraging events throughout the year and is found at many of the food festivals nationwide. She also provides individual and customized events such as Seaweed Cookery Workshops, Picnics and Seaweed Sessions With Friends!
 2014 Events

  • April 12 & 13
    Forages & Cookery Demos, Dungarvan Food Festival
  • May 1
    Talk at Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Wexford Field Naturalists Club
  • May 17
    Seaweed Forage, Baginbun Beach. WFNC
  • May 18
    Seaweed Forage, Bealtaine Festival, Kilfarassey, Co. Waterford
  • June 15
    Cookery Demo with Cycle Forage at The Tannery to celebrate Bike Week
  • June
    Cookery Demo, The Bay Cafe, Dunmore East Food Festival
  • July 27
    Beach Picnic & Forage, Kilfarassey
  • August 10
    Beach Walk & Forage, Rathmoylan & Ballymacaw, Co.Waterford
  • Sept 10
    Waterford Harvest Festival
    October
    Bia Bofinne, Inishbofin Food Festival
  • October
    Dingle Food Festival

 For more details Theseagardener.ie or Follow Marie on Twitter:@TheSeaGardener