Those of you who read my blog regularly and know me of sorts, will know that I am keen novice forager. Last year I went stinging nettle crazy, this year wild garlic mad. Yet, I have so much to learn. I would so dearly love to one day spend a weekend (or even a week) with a professional forager learning not just about edible wild weeds on the land, but also those that grow on the beach and sea such as seaweed. Ah maybe one day that opportunity will come my way.
Back to my reality, sadly I have not been able to forage as much as I would like; as circumstances in my life are making me hesitant. For a start, D doesn't want us to be transporting excess and fragile glass jars full of edible delights for when we eventually move down to Wales. The greedy woman in me would happily ignore him, but the fact is that we also have little money to buy glass jars, and there are only so much glass jar and bottle recycling a couple can do. So I reserve these foraging pleasures for next year. Instead I thought I'd share with you some of my foraging forays, as well as free wild food I've been seeing around me for easy picking.
A couple of years ago, I found elder flowers and made elderflower champagne, sadly this year I have watched the elderflowers and the elderberries shrink before my eyes.
I saw these blackberries in North Wales, the brambles I've stumbled upon in Scotland, including those growing in my garden have been a disappointment. They are either shrivelled or virtually non existent due to the harsh constant rain hitting them. So it looks like no Blackberry Jam or Apple and Blackberry Crumble for me this year.
I had the opportunity to harvest dog rose and rose hips for rosehip jelly and rosehip syrup, but like I said I hardly have any jars, so sadly I will just have to watch them turn to mush.
I think this is hawthorn berries; or is it rowan berry? Anyway, I see both of them hanging like Christmas tree decorations - but have to walk on by.
This excited me the most - its sea buckthorn.
I had my first ever buckthorn shot last year - its sure is zingy and powerful in the mouth.
Its not all bad though, I found some sloe berries. This time a lot more than my find last year that made a very weak sloe gin. Not this time. The sloe berries are tucked in my parents freezer in Wales, awaiting for me to move there and then transform them into sloe gin.
I mentioned in an earlier post, that the apple tree in my garden this year has been battered by the cruel wind and rain. There are zero apples in the tree that when the punky waxwings and fairfield arrive, they won't hang around for long and fly on by. Fortunately its not been that bad for me. Although I didn't get any home grown apples for jam, I did forage for some mis-shapen cooking apples. These have already greedily been consumed in the form of Apple Cider Cake (which I have yet to share), as well as Cinnamon Apple Shortcakes.
And finally I cannot forget those eating apples from my fathers allotment plot; and pears from my mothers garden. Talking of pears...I have seen some growing not that far from where we presently live, but I don't think I will get to them - chances are the wind will have knocked them down before I get a chance to forage for some on my return.