I set up The Family Foraging Kitchen in 2013 to teach people the skills to find Free Food Forever. Food that is exciting, delicious, sustainable, and nutritious.
And I don’t just teach people the skills to find free food – but how to turn it into easy and healthy meals for the family.
After the birth of our son, my husband and I left our successful careers in the Third Sector and moved from London – back to the village where I grew up in South East Cornwall. Reconnecting with a vibrant community and beautiful countryside allowed my son the same upbringing I enjoyed. I spent my childhood in the hedgerows, fields and on the coast with my late Grandfather, a scout leader and amateur botanist, who first introduced me to wild edible plants.
Although I left Cornwall at 18, studied, graduated, travelled the world and forged a career in fundraising, I retained my love and passion for the natural world and for foraged food and cooking with wild ingredients. Even in London, at weekends I’d be in the parks and commons – basket in hand – enjoying the edible delights that urban wild spaces have to offer. Foraging on my travels and during my time as a salary woman, I began selecting wild ingredients to invent interesting gourmet-style recipes – for fun – as a hobby.
Moving back to Cornwall, my relationship with wild food changed from being ‘just a hobby’ into a necessity due to a change in our circumstances. Every day I was out gathering ingredients for my dinner – I would be stopped and asked what I was picking and how I would use what I gathered. Over time it became apparent that the knowledge I had was sought after and that I had a skill from which I could make a living whilst also sharing the skills and knowledge with my community. Cornwall has a rich natural larder with a fantastic and bountiful array of wild food, yet I find people lack, not only the skills and confidence to forage, but also the appreciation that vegetables do not have to be covered in plastic and labeled to be safe enough to eat.
I teach people from all walks of life how to safely identify wild edibles and poisonous species so they have the skills to feed their families in a nutritious,
sustainable way – for free - forever.
Since launching The Family Foraging Kitchen, my reputation has grown and attracted an amazing team of people so that we now offer not only walks and activities connected to wild food, but also workshops in traditional countryside crafts from willow basketry to beekeeping. I work with a number of award-winning Head Chefs to create gourmet wild food pop up restaurant nights and have provided wild food cookery demonstrations at big events and festivals. Most importantly, my connection to the landscape and daily contact with nature continues to teach and provide me with both nutritious food and plants for healing and medicinal use. I’d love to share that knowledge and experience with you all.
Apiarist & Traditional Skep Maker
Robbie is a local bee keeper and runs courses in how to get started with bees and in how to look after them. He also goes out to collect swarms. Alongside running our apiary courses, he runs traditional skep making workshops.
Woodcraft Artist, Survival, Bushcraft Instructor
Craig specializes and is an authority in Native American arts and crafts, indigenous skills their culture and primitive technologies. His Bushcraft skills include brain tanning, quillwork, bow making, birch bark work and pattern making, which are the fundamental outdoor skills associated with the North American fur trade material culture.
Craig teaches all fundamental bushcraft survival skills, including plant technology together with first Nations crafts, including bow making flint napping, clothing and more.
As an artist Craig produces arts and crafts associated with bushcraft. He sells his work internationally and is recognised as a master craftsman by his peers, and has written a number of articles for “The Bushcraft Magazine”. Craig is currently working on his first book focusing on First Nations Bushcraft skills of the Northern hemisphere.
Wild Game Expert / Film Maker
Dorian is not only our wild game tutor but also a talented film maker. He is currently making a documentary for The Family Foraging Kitchen's community project, Free Food Forever.
Andy is our wilderness living Instructor, survival & safety consultant and medic. As well as having run courses for The Family Foraging Kitchen, he runs his own company called Wisewoods Bushcraft
Simon is our talented rural craftsman who is not only great at organising and running a gong bath, but is a fabulous spoon carver. As well as working for FFK, he runs his own successful rural crafts business, Wild Hearts.
I met Gia last year after I heard of a new facebook group set up called 'Forage Plymouth'. Gia founded this fantastic venture to encourage urban foraging in Plymouth and to spread knowldege of the abundance of food growing in 'wild' spaces found in the city. Teaming up has strengthened the 'Free Food' campaign and she's become a firm friend and supporter of all we do here at the FFK!
Felter & Ecologist
Claire Roper is our Felting course tutor and a freelance ecologist providing a wide range of services from biological survey and management plans to permaculture and wildlife garden design! She's also a Forager and helps out at Family Foraging Kitchen events. She makes fantastic wild teas too! She runs her own business called Wild By Design.
Family Foraging Kitchen Trustees
The Family Foraging Kitchen has its very own board of Tribal Elders. We meet twice a year to discuss our successes and setbacks and to make sure we are always delivering the best service for our customers. The 'Elders' were individually selected for their backgrounds, varied skill set, friendship and support. We believe that every successful business should be led by a wise team!
We are based on the beautiful Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall. You can choose from hedgerow walks with stunning sea views, coastal walks that finish on the wonderful Cornish shoreline, woodland walks and even discover what's hidden in the wild urban landscapes of our nearest city, just across the water - Plymouth. We range in price from our popular monthly wild food walks (with a cookery class using the wild produce we've collected at the end also included!) for just £25 an adult and children go free. Bespoke private walks can be arranged at any time (and location of your choosing) - and we also offer exciting packages tailored for honeymooners and corporate team building days etc (please see the relevant pages on this site!). We also run courses in traditional countryside crafts - such as bee keeping, willow weaving and working with wild game.
01752 823424 / 07900 792 033