Gathered Knowledge

Good King Henry

This plant is part of the Chenopodium family, most of which are good edibles. You might know Fat Hen, the sister of Good King Henry. It makes a good salad when the leaves are young, and can be lightly steamed as it gets on a bit.







As the name suggests, soapwort leaves can be boiled in water to make a soap froth containing a good amount of saponin for washing with. In the summer it has pinky white flowers.




The Plaint of Fruit Farmers in Pluckley

While sitting in the haunted village of Pluckley, taking a pot of ale for strength and courage, we listen to a seated gang of local fruit farmers, who are discussing the dire state of the local and national fruit industry.


Will’s Ashdown Forest Castle

An adventure, with storms and leaves and twigs, wherein Will tries to make a shelter from the detritus of the forest floor, that can replace, for a night or two, his cosy comfy sleeping bag and good reliable poncho.



Leaves of the Spring Trees 1


Grazing has begun in earnest over the past few weeks. The Hawthorn trees have been in leaf for a fortnight and are extremely tasty.


Nibble on the little bunches of leaves, and as they come into flower over the next month, you can eat those too. The leaves get more bitter as they get older, so take the opportunity now. Hawthorn is heart medicine, regulating blood circulation and pressure, and keeping the ticker ticking.

Elder leaves are also appearing, and the newest leaves are sweet to eat, giving spring immunity as the seasons change.


Look at where the Elder is growing, making sure the ground seems clean with good soil. Do not eat large amounts.


Happy grazing.

Birch Polypore


Birch Polypore grows as a bracket like fungus on Birch trees.

The clean white flesh has anti-bacterial qualities and can be used as an emergency field dressing for wounds.

Here is a demonstration given by Alex while we were in the Ashdown Forest:


Cut the bracket from the tree, making sure it isn’t too old and shrivelled.


Cut a rectangle into the white flesh and gently lift the piece off, just less than a centimetre below the surface.

Take the rectangle, apply the spongy inner surface to the wound and bind it on with whatever cord or stringy plant you can find.


This will help you to keep the wound clean and protected until you can find a more permanent dressing and some wound healing herbs.