Photo of
August 12, 2019

As autumn appears on the horizon, the calendar begins to fill with harvest festivals.

The latest to be announced is The Scottish Wild Food Festival, a brand new festival focusing on and wild food and foraging.

It will take place at Cardross Estate in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park on 14th September.

Visitors to the festival 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.

Wild harvest

The festival aims to teach guests how to responsibly and safely gather a wild harvest and cook with a wide range of plants and fungi.  The day will be punctuated by two long table feasts prepared by some of Scotland’s top chefs.

The festival line up includes:

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.

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 from Marysia Paszkowska. The Executive Head Chef at Monachyle Mhor will 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 meet some of the friendly goats from Achray Farm.

Wild Way Points: An interactive, family-centred session linking both geocaching and foraging.

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. Head chef Rupert Waites and creative partner Tom Chisholm will host guests on a flavour journey through a specially developed three-course wild menu with accompanying wild drinks. The event will showcase the very best from the seashore, forest, fields and hedgerows. Tickets are £38.50 per person.

Wild food banquet

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.

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.

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.'

Tickets are priced at £8 per adult with free entry for children under 16. Tickets 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.  Foraging Fortnight runs from 31st August to 15th September. The festival is also part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, which runs 31st August-15th September.  The Scottish Wild Food Festival will be repeated in May 2020 with dates yet to be announced.

The picture was taken by Chris Watt and show forager Rokhsaneh Madeira and her three year old son, Oak Madeira foraging at Cardross Estate.