By August 24, 2012 Read More →

Unusual home working jobs

Home working but different – the food forager

Unusual home working jobs - Dave Hamilton, food foragerI was expecting this to be an occasional series so I’m delighted just how many different home working jobs are coming to light! Today I’m talking to Dave Hamilton, a man with a strong interest in growing and eating healthy food:

Hi Dave, what’s been happening in your life in the last few months?
My biggest news is I have moved from Totnes in Devon to Frome in Somerset. Totnes was great in many ways but Devon was just that bit far too far away from everything.

I love the title food forager – what exactly does it mean?
My work as a forager means I teach people about edible or otherwise useful plants. These can be unusual plants or ones most of us walk past every day. For example, the common weed plantain has an edible leaf and when rubbed on the skin, it can relieve stings and bites.
I run courses in the South West of England and the South Midlands. I also put on private courses for corporate and non-corporate clients, hen and stag weekends and any other interested parties.

But that’s not all you do, is it? Tell us about the other strings to your bow
Garden writing is my other main breadwinner. I write for a number of magazines including Gardener’s World, Grow your Own and Grow it! I’ve written two books Grow your food for free and The Self-Sufficientish Bible. I also teach horticulture and I am a trained gardener. I found through teaching that I love pruning and I may be running pruning courses this winter.
Aside from this I studied a degree in Nutrition and Food science so I sometimes write about food and health.
When I have time I also write and perform comedy. My parody of an East German Techno band, Vontergarten came runner up in a musical comedy award a few years ago.

You’ve appeared on national TV and radio – what’s that like?
It’s a bit like a first date but more nerve wracking. I remember when I appeared on the Today programme with my brother in front of 7 million listeners. John Humphreys asked us both a question as I felt all the blood leave my body. I could see Andy was terrified and couldn’t open his mouth. I began to say what ever came into my head. Thankfully, it wasn’t complete rubbish! As my first ever live interview that was a bit of a baptism by fire and everything since has seemed much easier.

And getting back to home working, what’s your absolute favourite thing about it?
The thing I like the most is the flexible time. If it is raining I stay indoors and work like crazy. As soon as the sun is out, I can head out on my bike or go off for a walk. I can also start work quite early and have the end of the afternoon off. I get a tremendous sense of achievement when I finish an article and time off feels earned.

What are you foraging for next in life?

The literal answer would be blackberries but more metaphorically, I am foraging for a new book deal. This next one might be a departure from my usual field as I’m looking to diversify the subjects I write about.

If you want to read more, Dave has a lot of material about gardening, foraging and urban self-sufficiency on his website

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23 Comments on "Unusual home working jobs"

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  1. Hello! I read so many blogs like yours Dave and completely geek out with my Swedish friend about this.

    Currently have pot of Asian plum sauce on the hob made with foraged plums.

    Judy, would you mind if I recruited him into joining Homeworking UK on LinkedIn?

  2. Well, blow me down with a feather. I thought your logo looked familiar. Your site has my to-go-to chocolate cake recipe I use for my vegan stepson – and anyone else when it comes to that. I usually adapt it and it’s always come out well.

    It’s marvellous.

  3. Small world – We’ve had that recipe up for years, it’s one of our most popular pages! Where in the country are you, I think I could do with an account (one with free cake sounds ideal!).

    • Thank you to Judy for telling me you replied, Dave! No notification in my RSS feeder 🙁 I’m in London, and work online rather than location based. I’ll send you an email.