h edges

of Hilperton and Paxcroft Mead

Month: May 2015

Food & Drink at the hEdge

On a glorious May bank holiday weekend around 30 people from Hilperton and Paxcroft Mead came together to enjoy our foraging and hedgerow cocktail making day. Starting off from the community centre the group only had to walk 100 yards into the local park in order to be guided by chef Matthew Pennington from the Ethicurian restaurant to their first finds. From the well-known – Nettles, Dandelions, Rose and Elderflower, to the less well known – Lady’s Smock, Ribwort Plantain and Ash keys, the resultant haul was taken back to the community centre to be sorted and eaten.

The end of the event was taken up with demonstrations by expert Jack Adair Bevan of hedgerow cocktails. Here Jack shows us a Pine Martinez made with English vermouth (The Collector), spruce pine gin and honey syrup.

 

hag / haga / gehaeg / hegge

Hedges themselves are aesthetic framings of pastures and livestock, crafted in regional styles and with a rich set of symbolic associations in folklore. The word hag, or witch, is said to derive from the belief that they could hedge-ride, crossing the borders between civilization and the wildwood (haga, gehaeg and hegge are Old English for hedge). Hedges are even political – from the 16th century onwards the prefix hedge referred to people of the lowest orders – hedge-doctors, hedge-lawyers and the hedge-schools of Ireland of the 18th century which kept alive Catholic teachings hidden from the Protestant ruling class. All this and more, by the way, is in Hugh Barker’s excellent book Hedge Britannia.

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