Syrups, Shrubs, Pots and Preserves
Taste the Wild Irish Countryside
Heritage recipes. Irish ingredients that grow wild and seasonal. A couple who love their land and it’s natural bounty. That’s the secret to success for a unique range of preserves from The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers.
Sharon and Gordon Greene have an inherent love for the countryside and tradition..Their marriage is not just in name, but in a perfectly balanced like minded ethos for artisan production. Gordon is The Forager, a man who believes he is a Caretaker of the land - not a Cultivator of the land. Sharon is The Preserver, converting his seasonal hauls of wild berries, fruits, flowers and herbs, into unique preserves, using time honoured recipes from a history bank of old food heritage.
Gordon forages the land around his parent’s home, the farm he grew up on. It has 55 prolific acres, including picturesque pastures, untamed boglands, hedgerow lined lanes and a wood. In this natural environment, Gordon gathers Hawthorn flowers, Elderflowers, Meadowsweet, two types of Clover, Honeysuckle, Nettles, Rowanberries, Elderberries, Hawthornberries, beech nuts, crab apples, damsons, sloes and rosehips. When the Gorse is in flower, he takes thick gardening gloves and a comfy chair, to hand pick blooms – and ends up covered in yellow petals quite often! Gordon’s ‘caretaker’ attitude means he always leave enough wild produce behind to feed the wildlife.
Every season brings a new ingredient and new excitement in the kitchen. Sharon sets to work, with a traditional preserving pan and equipment, often ancient recipes - and pure woman power. All her preserves have their own story to tell. Beginning with Rosehip Syrup, which was the first syrup Sharon ever made to give to her growing family as a health drink. The Greene children also enjoyed foraging. One daughter has even been known to forage while standing on the back of her pony Bandit, to reach the tallest of trees and bushes. Bandit is a very patient pony!
Rosehip Syrup has become a daily addition to porridge in the Greene household. It’s now joined by syrups from Elderberry, Hawthornberry (traditionally known as Man’s Tea) Hawthonberry and Ginger (traditionally known as Strong Woman’s Tea). Preserves include Pontack, an elderberry reduction from a 17th century London recipe, created by Monsieur Pontack, who came from a French wine making family and once owned the Pontack Arms in Lombard Street, London. This condiment is used sparingly with game. Haw Sauce and Hawty Haw Sauce with chilli and garlic added are made from the produce of the Hawthorn Tree, known by children of old Ireland as the ‘Bread and Cheese’ tree. No wonder these two sauces dress up the cheeseboard! Meadowsweet in Meadowsweet Pot was a sacred plant revered by the Druids. This little preserve has intense flavour for glazing a ham or dressing a pancake. Sharon’s ‘Fruit Cheeses’ include Crabapple and Chilli for a salad dressing or Crabapple and Wildberry for a cold meat platter.
The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers range represents a time of old, with some truly magical concoctions.