Monday, 11 October 2010

Food Yards Foraging

I'm really lucky because we have lots of foraging possibilities right on the doorstep. I can reach over our fence and harvest elderflowers, elderberries, hawthorn and sloes from the remnant old hedgerow next to our back garden. If I go onto the public path at the side of our house there's more of the same plus blackberries, hazelnuts, crab apples, rose hips and nettles.

A little further afield there's all kinds of plums and apples. If I was even more adventurous I could tap the birch trees bordering my garden and make birch beer, or attempt some ersatz coffee making using the acorns from the oak tree up at the allotment. The beech hedge by Threadspider's house has possibilities too. I'm sure there's even more bounty out there which I'm not yet aware of.

However, my best find so far is that one of the houses round the corner has a number of almond trees in the back garden. I found these on the pavement recently and couldn't resist bringing them home. Of course the owners get most of the crop, but it's rather nice to have found enough nuts for a celebratory feast later in the year :)

What have you found in your local area?

NB The above picture features hand modelling by NAH ;)

Update 21/10: I've often wondered whether I'm actually stealing when I do this. An interesting article by the BBC on the legality of foraging suggests it isn't, as long as it's just for personal consumption.

11 comments:

  1. we have walnut trees growing in several places around here, on the trails through the countryside. I walk past half a dozen on my morning constitutional.

    There are so many that even though people collect them by the shopping-bag full, there's always more to be had.

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  2. so jealous!! there is absolutely *no* foraging possibilities around here. :(

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  3. I don't think I have seen an almond tree around here though there are plenty of apples rolling around the pavements at the moment!

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  4. Cepes, Boletus edulis, they're popping up under Chestnut in the woods around as we've just had rain.

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  5. I actually found 3 cans of lager in the garden yesteday - does this count?

    PS Nice hands!

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  6. I went to West Kington on Sunday, where there is line of pear trees overhanging the brook - laden with juicy fruit. If only I'd had my wellies!

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  7. Tony - ooh walnuts! I wonder if I can scrump some from Lacock Abbey?

    Petoskystone - that's why I consider myself to be very lucky :)

    EG - I'm surprised how many 'wild' apple trees there are around, especially on the motorways!

    Rob - you've reminded me I need to sign up for my local fungus foray. Thanks

    LGF - of course it does! But how did they get there?

    Mark - fantastic. Are you going back then?

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  8. I'm just catching up with your blog, so I'm a bit late with this one, but there is a damson tree on public land near us from which (apparently) no-one else uses the damsons, and a whole (uncultivated) field of blackberries - enough for all the blackberry-ers in the village and plenty left over for the local wildlife too.

    So far we have had summer pudding, damson crumble, and blackberry and apple crumble, and today R made some blackberry jam :)

    No almonds though :(

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  9. Juliet - lovely to see you again :)

    Sounds like you've had fun scrumping too!

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  10. We've got almonds in Northwich - need adjustable spanners to crack them though!
    Loads of feral apples around, some really brilliant. So doing some grafting to make more. Some plantings of Wisley Crab too: dessert size red fruit, with red flesh, and tasty.

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  11. VREN - marvellous, it's great to hear of your initiative!

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