A heads-up for Llwyn Ffranc Farm’s Wild Garlic Festival on April 14th/15th. A chance to forage for wild garlic, explore the woodland and catch up with the legendary Chef Franco Taruschio, founder of The Walnut Tree Inn and Patron of Abergavenny Food Festival. Only a limited number of tickets are available.
Organiser Stephen Powell of Llwyn Franc Community Forest Farm writes:
Wild garlic is a spectacular assault on the senses – the nose, the eyes and the taste buds. Every spring at Llwyn Ffranc, the farm where I have lived for 11 years. acre upon acre of the woodland floor turns into a white and green carpet with a pungent smell. Raw or cooked, in salads or soups, the leaves are a culinary treat.
To experience this gift of nature join us in mid-April for the Wild Garlic Festival, a celebration of woodland and wild food supported by the Sustainable Development Fund of the Brecon Beacons National Park. We’ll start on the morning of Saturday April 14, leading groups up into the woodland on the slopes of the Skirrid, a holy mountain three miles to the northeast of Abergavenny. Everyone will have a chance to forage and then we’ll savour a wild garlic and nettle soup.
On Sunday April 15 we’ll switch the venue to nearby Arcadia Wood, a magical setting with a lake and a boathouse straight out of a storybook. Franco Taruschio, the forager chef who put the Walnut Tree Inn on Britain’s gastronomic map, will demonstrate how to prepare dishes with wild garlic and with watercress.
During the festival a range of speakers will tackle subjects as diverse as the life of wild bees, the woodlands of Wales and aquaculture.
The festival, which began on a small scale last year, is an initiative of Llwyn Ffranc Ltd, a community benefit society dedicated to connecting people with land, food and forest. The society – currently owned by 117 shareholders from Britain, France, Spain, Australia and Canada – is about to buy the 50-acre woodland at Llwyn Ffranc where the wild garlic grows. It seeks to promote the concept of community forest farming and believes that every community farm worth its salt should host a festival.
Ours aims to capture the all-important quality of intimacy with wild things. According to Richard Mabey, author of the classic work “Food for Free”, this feeling of intimacy is the big attraction of foraging.
Tickets for the festival cost £5 per person per day and can be booked in advance through the website www.communityforestfarm.co.uk
Stephen Powell, secretary of Llwyn Ffranc