Foraging Friday: Vetch (Coming Soon to a Wild Salad Bowl Near You)

Flower, Hairy Vetch
Vetch by Yoko Nekonomania via Flickr

Vetch is beautiful, distinctive and abundant in our hedgerows at this time of year. I acquired a taste for this plant when I was about nine years old and chewing on it always takes me back to that time in my life when I would dawdle home from school and munch handfuls of the stuff.

Vetch belongs to the pea family and its flavour can be most likened to the sweetness of pea pods or sugar snap peas. There are several widespread varieties all of which are delicious and easily distinguished by their herring bone leaves, climbing stems and purple or pink pea-like flowers. This plant is one of my favourite wayside snacks. The stems are quite fiborous but the flowers and leaves make a great addition to any salad. We should have from late June to Early September to enjoy the flowers, after this it becomes a bit tougher and dies off.

You will be competing with horses for this one, too, they absolutely love it.

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