It was Christmas 2011 and I decided that I wanted to embrace the foraging lifestyle and do something that brought me closer to the land, sea and air around where I lived. I came up with the idea of learning the skills to produce a Christmas Feast for ten of my friends and it not to cost a penny.

In early 2012, I started learning how and where to forage. I came up with a menu, I started building a Google Map of where I can get ingredients for free. Then I bought a house, which needed decorating. Then we found out my wife was pregnant. Then I started a business. As you can tell, 2012 was a pretty big year for us, and needless to say foraging was forgotten about very quickly.

Five years on and I’ve still not forgotten about this, and the drive to actually do it is even greater. On a plus side, I’ve been building my foraging map and now know where there is wild fruit, I know the clean waters that could provide seafood and where there are a few nut trees. I’ve also built up friendships with people who have poultry, I can get hold of pigeons and rabbits galore and, most importantly, I also have a garden now (with a very fruitful apple tree and a pear tree that hasn’t produced a single pear in the three years we’ve lived here). And my four year old son is by far the best Chanterelle mushroom spotter you could ever get!

The things that are going to eat into the time I have to do this are the business (a wine shop) and when my son wants me to pretend I’m C3-PO to his R2-D2.

Deterred I am not, and I will do this in 2018. The self imposed rules I created five years ago still apply, and come December 2018, I will be sitting down to a feast that I’ve foraged.