As soon as the snow melts and the sun has shone for a few days, I go to a particular hillside in our village in the hope that the first wild garlic has sprouted from the thawing earth. And today was the lucky day! That picture above is my first fistfull of the year, picked this morning.
Wild garlic, which also goes by the names ramsons, wood garlic, and buckrams, is actually in the onion family. We call it wild garlic because of it's strong garlicky fragrance and mild pungent flavour.
In the beginning it sprouts in patches here and there, and does not yet give off a scent. By this time of year, we are all hungry for things green and fresh. The first tender leaves of wild garlic are very precious to me!
Chop it up and use it in salads, scrambles, sandwiches, quiche, pesto, in creamy dips, or as a soup garnish.
When I see the first wild garlic shoots, I am overcome with a sense of relief. I know that winter is fading, and spring is braving her way up through the soil. I actually get pretty giddy when I can finally crouch down on the forest floor and harvest the first wild food of the year!
After a time, the wild garlic forms a thick carpet on the woodland floor. Here are a couple of pictures from years past when the wild garlic was thriving:
:: look how little kiki is here! just one year old ::
The world will be blanketed in green once again very, very soon. In about a month the fruit trees will be blossoming, and I am sure any day now I'll discover the first frog and toad eggs. This time of year always makes me feel like a survivor, isn't that funny?
Today I experienced something interesting that I want to talk with you about tomorrow. And by the way, I loved hearing what you all had to say about friendship. It would seem that being generous with forgiveness and compassion is what makes friendship work. Thank you for always giving me something to contemplate, and for sharing your thoughts here!
Now I'm going to go spread a nice slice of crusty country bread with cream cheese and sprinkle it with chopped wild garlic; real forager food. :)
xoxo your country girl
*just to clarify, this plant is not actually garlic. it is from the allium family, and you eat the leaves, not the bulbs. Read all about it here . Find recipes here .