April and May are big months for us – it’s when we collect the all important nettle and wild garlic leaves with which we wrap our Yargs. The wild garlic comes first but we mustn’t pick too early – if the leaves are too small, the artistry doesn’t work. At the same time, once they’re in flower, they have gone past their flavoursome best so we watch our secret patches carefully for the right weeks.
Nettles we have to wait a little longer for, especially if the weather has been cold, but when they come, they really do go for it, so again we keep a watchful eye. Gloves on for this job! (Interestingly and helpfully, the sting has left them by the time it comes to the nettling of the cheese).
We pick all we need for the year in just a few weeks and we’ve never yet run out of leaves. As you can imagine, we are talking in tonnes!