Foraging in '23

I've just been out after blackberries for the freezer today, and came home with 3 take-away boxes full, plus a big bag of sloes and another of elderberries. We're lucky enough to live close to the countryside, and over the next few weeks I'd expect to be able to find crab apples, hazelnuts, rose hips & walnuts as well as plenty more blackberries, sloes & elderberries - weather permitting! There will be sloe gin, hedgerow jam, elderberry "rob", possibly even wine (though as I recall, that one is pretty lethal!) crab apple jelly, crab apple chutney - you name it, I'll probably try to make it!

But I also do "urban" foraging & will be picking hundreds of hazelnuts up off the end of our road, where the cars park; the other inhabitants never seem to notice the free food under their tyres. Plus Japonica (or chaenomeles) quinces from my friend's front garden; they mix well with the tree (cydonia) quinces in our front garden, which sadly are the one variety (Vranja) that doesn't contain much pectin - but the lumpy little Japanese ones do! 

Interested to hear what natural foods others are gleaning out there for free, just for the effort of finding & picking - and what you are doing with it?
Angie - GC March 24 24 £81.07/£500: 2024 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 10/68: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)


  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,234
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    Just made damson jam with some foraged damsons
  • annieb64
    annieb64 Posts: 608
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    Have picked lots of blackberries which are in the freezer and have my eyes on a couple of apple trees- not crab apples just trees on waste ground.
    DD is away so we have been watering her garden and have brought home tomatoes. We also checked her allotment on Saturday and picked plums, greengages, more blackberries and beetroot. The sweetcorn weren't quite ready which is a pity but the local farm shop had them at 3 for £1 so can't complain.
  • Floss
    Floss Posts: 8,121
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    I've already picked rosehips (for jelly) which are in the freezer, blackberries (for jelly with apples) and will check on the sloes later today. There are also elderberries and hazelnuts but not many mirabelles this year.
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  • Rosa_Damascena
    Rosa_Damascena Posts: 6,212
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    edited 29 August 2023 at 11:53PM
    @Katiehound - thanks for posting the link, I had no idea what a haw actually looked like before now! (Although anm aware candied haws are a popular snack in some parts of China.

    @goldfinches - was 100g sugar enough to make the rhubarb palatable?

    Re: hazelnuts. Genuine hazelnuts or cobnuts?
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  • thriftwizard
    thriftwizard Posts: 4,638
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    Ours in the garden are definitely hazels, i.e. they drop their "skirt" on ripening, as do the ones at the top of our road. Ours, from nursery-sourced trees, are a little longer than the wilder ones, but they all taste good!

    Hoping for some allotment time later; there are lots of blackberries along the field-edge, as well as my official crops, though the blackthorns there are "bare" of sloes.
    Angie - GC March 24 24 £81.07/£500: 2024 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 10/68: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
  • I need to go blackberry picking soon then! I go every year but my last batch turned out to be extremely maggoty so nothing was made from them. I usually get those, crab apples, regular apples, damsons, and occasionally wild plums if someone hasn't got there first! Also lucky enough to live near huge amount of wild garlic, some of which is still in my freezer.

    There are loads of sloes nearby too, but I don't like gin and never know what else to do with them. 

    I made apple butter last year, which I highly recommend if you find yourself with a glut of them - especially if they end up being a bit mealy inside. 
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  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,513
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    Managed to pick 600 g of blackberries this morning but it was a struggle- most have been & gone.
    berries now squashed & soaking in wine ready for the blackberry liqueur which is Saturday's task to complete!

    I have a load of small (Fentimen's) screw top glass bottles begged from a garden centre cafe so now have stocks for this & whatever other drinkies need to be made. Yes, I could put the drink into a wine bottle but I like to give some away....
    Question: What kind of liquid measure is a large glass of vodka? don't mind being generous but want enough!!
    thanks to Goldfinches' link above......Online suggests 250 ml. thoughts please
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  • thriftwizard
    thriftwizard Posts: 4,638
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    My plans to go up to the drove roads for crab apples (and maybe walnuts, but I don't want black hands this weekend as I'm working) have come to nothing. The worst of the rain is over now, but apparently thunder is a strong possibility, so heading up & over our local iron-age hill fort might be a touch daft! Maybe tomorrow afternoon?

    @Katiehound, I'd agree with 250ml being a large glass. But would fall over if I drank that much strong liquor - I'm out of practice! Sticking to cider here...
    Angie - GC March 24 24 £81.07/£500: 2024 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 10/68: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
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