Saturday, 17 July 2010

Foraging the Wild Larder

Now we have Missy we are walking more and more  - me usually just at the weekends with her as during the week its a bit of a scramble with me getting tea ready when I come home etc.  However, when I am walking and thinking I always have half an eye as to what is in the hedgerow what is showing itself, what stage of growth it is at, where a particular specimen is etc and make a mental map in my minds eye to go back on and to check on.  Food is nearly always uppermost in my mind and I plot and plan and assemble things together so that I can take advantage of whatever it is I have seen at the most appropriate time.  But even I get things wrong.  A couple of months ago we spotted what we thought were bullace as they were hard and green.  OH went out with Missy this morning  and what we thought was a bullace is in fact a wild plum.  OH .came back with little plums this morning after a walk.  And they taste .wonderful and the fruits are a yellow to a pink blush colour and oh so sweet.  So he took me back out and I have about a 1lb of these fruits to do something with.  We are hoping to go back and see if we can get some more there were a lot of fruit on the tree but were not ripe so will have to see what we can get hold of and whatever we find it will be extra additions to the pantry shelf.  However there is a lot of wild fruits to come in the hedgerows, loads of elderberries and blackberries, rosehips and haw berries.  By the amount it would seem we may be in for another cold winter.  Haven't seen any sloes where we go but I know where I can get some from as well as crab apples.  I really would love a place with a proper fire place for the winter months, but I think will have to dream.

Once or twice this week I have thought that perhaps the wheel has moved on a little more a feeling of autumn even though it is only July and we were three weeks behind on the seasonal gluts in any event.  Must have caught up a tad

I had always thought that if ever I was lucky enought to move to the countryside with a bit of land attached I would always plant my own hedgerow of blackthorn, hawthorn, elder, and cherry plum etc.  Its still something I would love to do because it would provide a natural barrier, with the bonus of wild fruits etc which would benefit the wild life as well as the pantry shelf.  I went to the New Forest a few years back and one of the National Trust places we went to was actually bringing on saplings of these types of plants and selling them to the public.  I have some of these cherry plum stones and wondered if I would be able to grow some little bushes from the pips.  Does anyone know if you can do this or not as it would kind of be giving something back if I could as well as creating more fruit potential in the long run.


  1. You could try cracking the stones and then plant them and see what happens, you just never know, have a search on 'tinternet, you might find something there.

    There is a site on the internet called grows on you, you might find something on there, otherwise try one of the green or self sufficiency sites you might find something there.

  2. I thought it was me being silly but obviously you've noticed this feeling of autumn in the air too. I'd also had the same thought about the coming witer, the wild fruits are thick on the bushes again and it will look lovely when they all ripen.

  3. Hi Anne thanks for that will have to have a nosy around when I have a minute. Hope you and Edwin are keeping well and that you are both feeling more comfortable than you have been. Hope you have a good time with your visitors and take care of yourselves.

    Rowan you are just in touch with your inner voice and instincts. Autumn is starting to creep in. I think I pick up on the changes anyway because of the arthritis as I have found that temperature change affects me quite badly. Stick me on the wall I would make a perfect barometer! You will be picking the bilberries soon lucky you. Never had wild bilberries assume they are something like a smaller version of a blueberry but with more flavour? Hope your arm is coming on well and that it is becoming less of a hindrance.

    Take care ladies

    pattypan (aka Tricia)


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