Great camping food can come in a plethora of different forms, and tomorrow is Seedy Saturday in Lewes where a host of local suppliers gather in the Town Hall to showcase their products and start the local community of Lewes thinking about what seeds they should be planting for next years plant harvest feasts. It is also an opportunity to speak with people and find out what produce nature will provide us with for free, if we have the knowledge and the enthusiasm to know what to look for.
For most people camping food is a selection of pre packed offerings that are pulled out from the car and then warmed over a little stove. If however you do a little research and source local food suppliers and what wild plants might be inseason during your trip, before you set off, you can turn a simple camping trip into a gastronomic adventure where food could be the centrepiece of the camping experience. Being a little bit of a plant enthusiast, I have started deciding on which seeds to sow this spring, in order that we can harvest some fresh produce from around the campsite. This won’t provide us with lots of food but hopefully we will be able to make some teas and infusions as well as adding some leaves and flowers to the salads that will accompany our evening feasts around the campfire.
If you are keen to find out more about food and plants that you can eat and forage for when you next go camping, or better still plants that you can put into your garden and feast on throughout the year have a look at these two peoples web sites. Paul Barney runs a brilliant plant nursery, Edulis in Berkshire and he will be exhibiting at Seedy Saturday in Lewes tomorrow, where you can pick his brain on what perennial plants you should be growing in your garden to take on your next camping trip as fresh produce or to add to al fresco meals in the garden. The other website to have a look at is Miles Irving who runs Forager which supplies the restaurant trade with deliciously fresh, foraged produce from around the country. Miles is an expert who I once had lunch with at the Artichoke pub in the village where he lives in Kent. He has written a fantastic book, the Foragers Handbook which you should have permanently stationed in your car. That way you will always be able to turn your next camping trip into a fresh produce adventure.
Here at the Secret Campsite down in Sussex, we have been landscaping the site using a wide range of edible plants from perennials to trees and this year we have a bank of seeds to sow and then transplant around the site so that, in time, campers will be able to pick fresh produce form around the site, and then sit back around the campfire and enjoy the huge range of tastes and flavours that this will provide. If you would like to know more about edible plants and how you can make a camping trip more of a food adventure please get in touch, we’d love to hear from other enthisiasts.