27th April 2012 at 01:00

Foraging for wild food? There's an app for that

FErret makes a point of finding all his food on the ground, but he understands that you humans often prefer hygienic, well-lit aisles in the supermarket. Fortunately, City College Plymouth lecturer David Beazley is here to tell you all why you are better off picking up your food from a forest floor.

The chef lecturer has created a best-selling iPhone app, The Forager's Apprentice, to introduce a nervous public to the delights of wild food. It presents smartphone users with a selection of Britain's most commonly foraged foods, from wild strawberries to brown crab. It's not a comprehensive guide to flora and fauna, however, so don't pick up that death cap mushroom just because you think it looks "close enough" to a cep.

His expertise has also brought him to the notice of the US TV network ABC, who are featuring him in the documentary series Born to Explore. In the programme, Mr Beazley will take explorer and presenter Richard Wiese foraging on Dartmoor, before showing him how to cook what they find.

FErret suggests that one handy way of easing yourself into the world of foraging is to practise by picking your toast up off the floor and eating it. See? Delicious!

A job-creation scheme on a minuscule scale

A round of applause for Warndon Parish Council in Worcester. It is considering using its funds - which might normally finance a photocopier for the village school or go to charity - to pay for an apprentice.

The money would subsidise the wages of an apprentice for a local business that can't afford to hire one. Parish councillors said that they were inspired by Walsall's #163;2 million plan to create 550 apprentices, only scaled down by about #163;1,995,000.

Some naysayers are concerned that the council has only just approved a 16 per cent increase in its share of council tax (equivalent to #163;2.04 per household). Using tax revenue to stimulate job growth in this way would be beyond the wildest Keynesian dreams of Ed Balls at the moment. All hail the People's Republic of Warndon!

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