Monday, September 16, 2019
The skye times mobile

Visitors to the last day of the 2016 Skye Book Festival were able to enjoy a double dose of foraging tips from Uist-based forager and BBC Masterchef finalist, Fiona Bird.  

After accompanying Fiona outside for a workshop on foraging and discovering outdoor edibles, festival-goers were able to listen to Fiona discuss various wild ingredients and how she used them.  Her talk was complemented by a slideshow of the many uses she had for her finds.

Also present at the talk was the delicious scent of wild rose petals and multiple wild herbs, all foraged by Fiona.  In front of her stood a table, laden with outdoor goodies, which she invited the audience to sample. 

Fiona taught the audience amazing uses for seaweed, bog myrtle, honeysuckle, elderflower, wild garlic and hawthorn leaves - to name just a few!  

Fiona's foraging has prompted her to write several books on the subject, including "Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside" and "The Forager's Kitchen."  Her fascination for foraging has also introduced her to a cast of fascinating people, including Barra's Canon Angus MacQueen.  

Fiona said: "He told me about his life on the machair.  Early in the morning, he was sent to feed the cattle.  He was given a piece, which he was supposed to eat at lunchtime.  However, he had usually eaten the piece before he had even got to the machair, let alone to lunchtime!  That is when he started foraging, eating the clover and seaweed."

Seaweed was the one of the main subjects of Fiona's talk, as she revealed the versatility of seaweed as a delicacy or even as a soap!

Several times during the talk, the audience were able to sample items that Fiona had foraged, as well as taste her delicious blueberry muffins and homemade biscuits.

Fiona's event at the Aros merged a love of the outdoors with delicious food - an excellent combination!

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