The Scottish Wild Food Festival is a one-day event that will take place at Cardross Estate in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in Stirlingshire, and offers foodies a chance to experience the natural larder first hand.
Visitors to the festival at the beautiful country estate will be able take part in an extensive range of free and paid-for events and activities throughout the day, with something to suit every age.
This relaxed and informative festival offers an excellent opportunity to learn the skills to responsibly and safely gather a wild harvest and cook with a wide range of plants and fungi.
To keep hunger at bay, the day will be punctuated by two impressive feasts prepared by some of Scotland’s top chefs.
The festival line-up includes these highlights:
· A Wild Food and Chocolate Pairing Challenge from award-winning chocolatier, Charlotte Flowers
· Taste Wild, Taste Local Picnic: the chance to sample tasty nibbles at a picnic of locally produced foods intertwined with wild ingredients.
· Jam & Curd Making Demonstration from jamming expert Kate Thornhill of Perthshire Preserves
· Fire lighting - how to build and light fires safely for wild food cookery.
· Mindful Wild tea tasting with Green Tree Remedies - the opportunity to sample a range of wild teas infused from foraged ingredients, learn about their properties and how to make them.
· Winter Health Walk - Lauren Lochrie from Herbal Homestead will help to identify medicinal plants and show how to make the herbal remedies at home and stay healthy over the colder months.
· Happy Hedgerow: Rokhsaneh Madeira will reveal how being surrounded by nature improves mood and general wellbeing. Participants will hunt for Scottish superfoods and find out how they can have positive effects on overall mental wellbeing.
· Hedgerow Spirit - Wild Cocktails - a short foraging walk sampling drinks along the way, learning about ancient fermentation processes.
· Wild Crafted Cocktail Tasting fromMarysia Paszkowska, Executive Head Chef at Monachyle Mhorwill demonstrate how to prepare and serve wild crafted cocktails from foraged chanterelles, brambles, wild sorrel and crab apple.
· Wild Ices of Achray - the chance to taste brand new wild ice cream and sorbets and even meet some of the friendly goats from Achray Farm.
· Wild Way Points: An interactive, family-centred session linking both geocaching and foraging. Children and adults will learn all about the world of geocaching, how to use and navigate with a GPS and discovery a variety of edible and fascinating plants along the way!
· A fireside workshop with chef, Roy Revie, showing guests how to cook and eat their own foraged flatbread and soup.
· Picture it with Pickles – a chance to sketch, create, and mindfully explore wild plants in detail
A lunchtime feast will be prepared by foraging and fermenting experts from Buck & Birch. priced at £38.50 per person.
Head chef Rupert Waites and creative partner Tom Chisholm invite you to join them on their flavour journey through a specially developed three-course wild menu and accompanying wild drinks, showcasing the very best from the seashore, forest, fields and hedgerows.
Later that evening, a separate banquet will be hosted by acclaimed Monachyle Mhor, known for its locally foraged and farmed produce.
With head chef Marysia Paszkowska at the helm, this one-off dinner focuses on key ingredients sourced within a 30-minute radius of the estate. Served with a dram from the nearby Glengoyne Distillery, this meal costs £55 per person.
Central to this truly unique festival is a group of 12 local people who have been brought together on a programme aimed to enable more local businesses to include wild food and foraging in the activities they offer.
The programme, devised by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods, in partnership with Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER is designed to leave a legacy of skills that will be showcased at the festival itself.
Participants include chefs like Marysia Paszkowska who, in addition to the feast she’s preparing, will use the festival to present an artisan bread making workshop; Lauren Lochrie who will demonstrate foraging for medicinal plants; Trossachs Wild Apothecary, Rokhsaneh Madeira who will introduce visitors to the mood-improving benefits of foraging and look at wild superfoods; Charlotte Flowers who will be showcasing her award-winning chocolate, which is created using foraged botanicals; and Nicola Hornsby of Wild Ices of Achray who will be on hand to provide a taste of new wild ice creams.
A range of ready to eat food and wild food produce stalls will also be available including Perthshire Preserves and Stone Lands Kitchen.
The Cardross Estate stretches over 4,500 acres of park, wood and farmland and the festival will be the first of its kind to be hosted in the grounds, offering a venue with a rich variety of foraging habitats. Perched above the River Forth with spectacular views in every direction, Cardross Estate is within easy reach of three of Scotland’s major cities - Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Douglas Johnston, Chair of Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER says: “The Scottish Wild Food Festival is a ground-breaking project that encourages people to learn more about foraging and understand its benefits. This area is rich in wild food, making it a perfect location for the festival with an abundance of ingredients for people to explore. I’m delighted to launch the first festival of its kind in Scotland at Cardross Estate”.
The full line up of The Scottish Wild Food Festival will be announced on the Foraging Fortnight website.
Tickets are priced at £8 per adult with free entry for children under 16, and are available for the morning session between 10am – 2pm and the afternoon session 2pm – 6pm.
Some events and workshops within the festival are individually priced. All event and workshop purchases include free entry to the festival.
The Scottish Wild Food Festival is one of the key events of Foraging Fortnight, a LEADER funded project that draws together events across Forth Valley and Loch Lomond, Fife, Lanarkshire, Orkney and Moray.
Foraging Fortnight runs from 31 August to 15 September. The festival is also part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, which runs 31 August – 15 September. The Scottish Wild Food Festival will be repeated in May 2020 with dates yet to be announced.