Monday, 20 September 2010

wild foraging in the english countryside

throughout august, i managed to do quite a bit of wild foraging in our nearby fields and hedgerows. me and my brother decided one day to hop in the car and see what wild food grows nearby. there's some obvious stuff, but the more you start looking, the more you see. here's what we found:

elderflowers. there's lots of these scattered around the british countryside. and thankfully you can use the elderflowers to make cordial in the early summer and by late summer you can use the elderberries to make jam and pies! many of my friends made cordial this summer, and it was wonderful to have it quite frequently. (and the elderberry has high vit c, vit a, potassium and fiber levels too!)

hazelnuts (or filberts, as i believe they are known in the US) are all around this time of year, so you just need to be on the lookout - they are pretty difficult to spot unless you happen to be looking - and be sure to crack off the outside to get into the centre of it. i can't wait until the ones around here are a bit riper (we also have a twisted hazel in the garden) so i can make this version of chocolate hazelnut spread to lather on toast and melt on top of hot porridge in the morning!

watercress - this is something i never thought of looking for, but was growing in abundance in a nearby river! it's so expensive to buy in the supermarket, and totally free to take from the river. it was way tastier than shop bought, sweeter rather than bitter (which was a surprise). and with the rivers being so low at the moment, you might not get too wet!

we collected quite a stash...

blackberries were definitely another very important thing to forage for. i grew up on my grandmothers' blackberry and apple jams, and i absolutely love the taste of blackberries in anything and everything! and there are millions out there waiting to be picked, and they've almost finished their season too, so get going! you can freeze them also, which is a great idea, so you can have them year round in crumbles and muffins...

i do love these bad boys...

wild eating apples, as well as crab apples are available this time of year, and in serious abundance if you find a good tree, or you can help a neighbour out by helping pick from their trees - they are usually more than happy for you to take some!

as always with foraging it's important to be careful of how much you take, so there's enough for other people and for wild animals too.

next time i'll show you what i made with it all too!

and, if you haven't already, it would be wonderful if you would go ahead and vote for me on foodbuzz for project food blog. go on over to the right hand column at the top where you see 'official contestant: vote for me', click on it and send in your vote - that'd be lovely!

currently listening to:  remember by misty miller


  1. What a fantastic haul! I should really try and go out foraging but I'd probably end up poisoning myself! I can remember being young and picking blackberries with my grandma, I'll have to try and find some good bushes near by

  2. i enjoy your blog very much! i just read your project food blog entry and you definitely have my vote :) thanks for stopping by my blog as well!

  3. Oh I am in love with your blog! Also hello from one uk food blogger to another! What a great bunch of goodies you got from rummaging in the hedgerows big thumbs up!

    You bet you got my vote x xx

  4. Hello,

    I really enjoy the mix on your blog and wanted to say your new puppy is really cute. Thanks so much for your support, and you have mine as well.

  5. How awesome!You have goodies to make savory dishes and desserts - what a goldmine. Best of luck to you in the Project Food Blog!

  6. what delicious looking foods!

    i like that you're located in the UK! it feels so far away. and as i read your posts i use my best british accent. haha. :o) which is so much more fun!

  7. how cool is all that!! so many goodies :) have fun with them apples, and love your puppy--i'm sure you can't wait to bring him home!


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