It was with a sense of trepidation that Molly and I found ourselves assembling with a big crowd outside Powerscourt Pavilion one bright sunny autumn morning. I’d heard about this new trend for foraging for food, much of it due to the people going back to basics and growing their own fruit and veg, but eating directly from the ground – I was a tad sceptical! Well what a revelation – it is great fun and most importantly free!
Horticulture graduate Vincent Sheehy was a fascinating and entertaining guide as he led the large and jovial group down the beautiful walk through the forest to the tranquil Powerscourt River Walk. Besides the foraging, this was rare treat for people to gain access to an area normally exclusively available for annual members. As was clear to see the route is child, wheelchair and doggie friendly which makes a nice change!
In the natural, unspoilt beauty at the River Walk, Vincent showed us the art of foraging wild and edible foods such as wild flowers, herbs, berries and nuts. Mushrooms were not included during this introductory session because Vincent explained with all the differing varieties, some of which are poisonous, picking mushrooms are not for the novice. It is important with any foraging that you are aware of what plants you are eating because some can be dangerous and Vincent recommend the Forager Handbook for anyone that would like to continue learning about foraging.
It really is a marvelous way to reconnect with nature and your surroundings. We are so used to buying our food from the shop that we are almost fearful of eating food from the ground. It’s actually very liberating! Molly delighted in picking wild plants and trying out the new textures and flavours. It is definitely something we will continue to learn about and I would highly recommend attending any future foraging walks. The group was very laid back but enthusiastic and it was a really feel good event. I’d best go and buy that book now!
Vincent Sheehy is a horticulture graduate from University College Dublin. From a farming background in County Meath, Vincent grew up with a strong appreciation of the countryside. Vincent has spent time foraging on Søren Wiuff’s farm in Copenhagen which is helping create a new type of Nordic food culture. He is currently supplying a number of Irish restaurants.
Meet Vincent Sheehy – our guide
What a turn out- even the doggie is joining in!
My daughter Molly and the group walking through the trees down to the riverwalk
This is no ordinary bush! When the Elderbush flowers you can make delicious Elderfower cordial or syrup with the berries. Delicious and so good for you!
Look what is at our feet…
Tender Dandelion leaves
On the hunt!
Glorious Sweet Chestnuts – we all know what is inside!
Munching on surprisingly tasty spruce needles
Fragrant Meadow Sweet, delicious in teas
There’s food everywhere!
Thanks very much to Vincent Sheehy for such an informative and unusual walk and to Kerry Gordon for covering the day so beautifully in this article.
Happy Foraging 🙂