Emma Gunn is an expert forager living in Cornwall. She has been ‘in’ to plants from a really young age. Born in Canada, one of her earliest memories is trying maple syrup while in a maple forest.
Because of her father’s work the family moved to London, Singapore and then back to England just at the right time to start her secondary schooling.
“My passion for medicinal ‘hedgerow medicines’ began at 11 years old,” says Emma, “and for edible plants at 14. I have studied Latin, become a qualified garden designer, an artist and have been working at the Eden Project for the last 16 years.”
According to Emma we have so many edible and useful plants all around us, almost all of the time. Our hedgerows, countryside, coast, woodlands and even cities are full of edible plants, including unusual ones that have self-seeded as a result of human habitation.
Some were introduced by the Romans, some have been here thousands of years and others were brought to England by Victorian plant hunters with a passion for the exotic and the unusual. By whatever means these plants have got here, thousands of them have uses – the majority of which we have not discovered fully yet.
And at this year’s Bude for Food festival visitors will have a chance to learn more about them. Emma is planning a demonstration which will take you on a journey from plant to plate to show you how tasty some of our ‘local’ wild plants can be.
Note: Unfortunately Emma can’t be with us, because she’s going to have a little delivery in the next few days. We wish her all the best!