March food UK

Birch tree.

The sap of the Birch rises throughout March in the UK, this is just before the tree is about to start budding. Do not tap young trees (less than 30 cm in diameter) and do not tap trees that have been tapped last year. If you plan to tap in a populated area check the whole tree for signs of previous tappers, a tell tale bit of wood is sticking out the tree, as most people seem to be messy at plugging up the hole. To tap simply drill a few cm inside the bark of the tree and push a drinking straw or a length of tubing into the hole. The Sap will drip out and you can direct it into a bottle, which can then be turn into birch sap wine.

Japanese knot weed.

It can be eaten as a food; it makes for a delicious substitute for Rhubarb. Go for the new shoots at around 15-20 cm any taller they can be a little too tough. Do not leave any of the plant on the floor or waste a single morsel. Just one piece the size of a thumb nail can grow and you can get a criminal record in extreme circumstances.

Habitat: Railway embankments, riversides and just about anywhere else is chooses

Uses: Young shoots can be used in place of rhubarb. The roots contain glycosides similar to resveratrol. which is used in herbal medicine.


The shoots are considered to be the most expensive foodstuff by weight other than saffron and some truffles. They can be used like asparagus.  Hops were introduced in the middle ages as they were (and still are) used in making beer.


They are pretty much available all year round as long as you only pick the top few leaves, but in March the new growth means that younger nettles are available, so picking is easier.

goose grass, stick weed or Sticky Willy (in Scotland).

You should discard the stems as they are far too stringing and just use the leave as with  many wild foods use as you would spinach but unlike many foods I would suggest to use in small quantities perhaps to bulk out a soup as it is not the tastiest of vegetables.

Jack by the hedge.

These are tasty leaves add to salads lots of vitamin C and anti septic

Wood sorrel.

Sorrel comes to us from the French for sour which is what Oxalis means in Greek. It is refreshing in salads and adds piquancy to the flavour. It contains large amounts of Oxalic acid and has a scouring quality so people with gastric inflammation or kidney stones shouldn’t eat much if at all of Wood Sorrel.

Hawthorn leaves.

Use the leaves as salad when they first appear in Spring, they were commonly referred to in the olden days as “bread and cheese”, because the leaves were eaten between slices of buttered bread and were a staple food in early Spring.

  • Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)

  • Dandelion Leaf (Taraxacum officinale)

  • Ramsons (Allium ursinum)

  • Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)

  • Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)

  • Cleavers (Galium aparine)

  • Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

  • Chickweed (Stellaria media)

  • White Dead Nettle (Lamium album)

  • Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris)

  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

  • Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)

  • Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)

  • Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

  • Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

  • Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)


4 Responses to “March food UK”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by and