Spring Tonics in the Ouzel Valley

Today I harvested handfuls of fresh juicy Cleavers, bursting with vitamins welcome after winter’s salted runner beans.


I decided on making Cleavers & Carrot Lacto-Ferment, the cleavers worked well last year with a phenomenal taste…I will return with the results.

Cow Parsley (Anthriscus Sylvestris) and Hemlock (Conium maculatum) are also out side by side, confuse them not lest you desire a free ride in an ambulance.

Tasty potato salad addition, left.

Death, right.

A bit scary.


Cow parsley has a faint pink blush on stem, stem finely downy hairs, leaves 2 to 3 times innate (divided).

Hemlock has PINK/PURPLE SPOTS at base of stem, smooth hairless stem, leaves 4-5 times divided, generally bigger and looks finely lacy.  This is hemlock.


If you’re not 100% on it, avoid.


Also found Winter Cress and Shepherd’s Purse where the River path comes up to Aldi. (Now that what I call a budget shopping experience!) Peppery members of the cabbage family. Though probably peed on by many dogs.

Shepherds Purse has one of the highest nutritional contents of any wild food in the UK.

See you soon with more as I find it!


Hedgewitch Kat

2 responses to “Spring Tonics in the Ouzel Valley”

  1. Yes, all, you need is spring water (not chlorinated tap water as this kills the good bacteria) and salt.
    Weigh the bits of plant down under the water so air can’t get to your ferment. I use sandwich bag with a bit of water in it in the top of the jar . Make sure there’s a hole in the lid to release the gases! Just put the cleavers one in a stir fry and soup today, tangy and delicious..though I found a dead ladybird in it!! Let me know how you get on!.


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