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Who else forages?

edited 19 June 2019 at 10:12AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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  • relishy57relishy57 Forumite
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    Blackberries every autumn and raspberries if available in summer.
  • wortwort Forumite
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    I would love to but I'm not sure what to pick and is safe to eat!! I have a dark red leaf sambucus in my garden can I use this type of flower for anything ?? Is this an elderflower???
    Apart from blackberries I don't have a clue. Is there somewhere I could look them up???
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  • MSE_TineMSE_Tine MSE Staff
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    wort wrote: »
    I would love to but I'm not sure what to pick and is safe to eat!! I have a dark red leaf sambucus in my garden can I use this type of flower for anything ?? Is this an elderflower???
    Apart from blackberries I don't have a clue. Is there somewhere I could look them up???

    I know there are lots of beginners courses you can sign up for and our guide has links to a couple of National trust articles on what is safe to forage.

    I actually did a foraging course with Tim Maddams the lovely former River Cottage chef because I wanted to expand my knowledge a little :)

    There are also loads of books and I'm SURE there must be an app :rotfl:

    Never pick something you're not sure of though :)
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  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    Raised picking sorrel, sloes, blackberries, mushrooms, rosehips - and now find it hard to wear a coat without at least one ziplock bag shoved in a pocket. (As a toddler, we found my "sou'wester" of panelled yellow pvc held about 3lb of fresh mushrooms - and that it was easy to rinse out. Never underestimate headgear!)

    We lived in an area where elder was shrugged at, so elderflower champagne (usually drink long before it had a chance to get fizzy) was a summmer staple. The sloes were used to make sloe gin - every child sat with a pan & a pin, dropping well stabbed sloes into the demijohn... Good times, as while watching over our production, Granny would tell us a story.

    Now, not at all by chance the garden hedge has hawthorn, hazel, gooseberry, blackberries and so forth, and the front garden has a patch of sorrel we're careful never to hack back too far! (Is it foraging if you recognise & leave to grow a forageable plant?)

    There is a small patch of nettles I plan to make a viking soup with, but I'm letting the neighbours' children learn about nettles & dock leaves first.

    Of my family, it seems I'm the only person to eat nasturtium flowers & leaves. Which is daft since I plant them & watch them grow & save the seed, but all the more for me & I may try pickling some of the seeds as a caper-substitute.
  • edited 19 June 2019 at 11:26AM
    PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
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    edited 19 June 2019 at 11:26AM
    Me! Mainly crab apples and sloes, although I have made bramble jelly and rose hip jelly. The latter isn't foraged - I harvest the hips from one of our roses.)

    If you ever see two golfers pause their round to forage for sloes, that's me and a good friend. We both make sloe gin. Once ginned, I strip the flesh from the sloes and make [URL="http://www.sloe.biz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42&Itemid=176]sloe gin truffles[/URL]. Very alcoholic but they go down a treat. (I once gave a batch to a visiting colleague for Christmas. Despite warnings, he ended up eating them while he worked late at the office. Not a good idea - he had to get a taxi home.)

    There are a couple of sites, you'll find me when it's crab apple season, usually on the side of an A road. The crab apples get made into Hot Crab Apple Jelly and then Crab Apple Chilli Cheese.

    - Pip
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    Mainly blackberries ,but I also get apples from my neighbours trees and some of their rhubarb as well in season
  • bsuijebsuije Forumite
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    I would love to do more, but find myself limited by living in London Zone 2... For starters, there isn't that much that I see around (or at least recognise), but I also don't trust a lot of it - I just imagine all the dust, smog and pollution that's gone into (or sitting on) that plant and that puts me right off!

    But there is some hope a bit further out (Zone 4+)! Last summer/autumn, I discovered some very tasty blackberry bushes, so going back again this year! And I had found a nice apple tree, but someone has always beaten me to it in the last couple of years...

    My OH grew up in Sweden and I love going there in the summer and autumn to forage - it's a totally different experience! You can just go into the forest and find an abundance of mushrooms (just got to be careful what you pick, but he's taught me to recognise 3 or 4 mushrooms that are definitely OK and don't have any poisonous look-a-likes), blueberries and lingon berries without even trying! And, as it's Sweden, I don't even worry about pollution, etc.!
  • Working_MumWorking_Mum Forumite
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    There is several "community orchards" in my local area - my friend uses them loads to go and collect apples etc - she doesn't work so drops stuff off for me too!

    I believe it is a nationwide project
  • halogenhalogen Forumite
    426 posts
    wort wrote: »
    I would love to but I'm not sure what to pick and is safe to eat!! I have a dark red leaf sambucus in my garden can I use this type of flower for anything ?? Is this an elderflower???
    Apart from blackberries I don't have a clue. Is there somewhere I could look them up???
    Yes it is.:-D
    It makes a lovely pink elderflower champage. In fact I've been driving around town this week looking for that very plant Sambuccus Nigra to make pink elderflower champage as my own plant has only 2 flower heads. Didn't really find enough so bulked it out with ordinary elderflower.


    I used to do a lot more foraging but so many of my favorite spots have now been built on and I'm not so steady on my feet nor able to walk as far these days. I'd love to be able to do proper mushroom foraging but it's a dangerous one that. To be honest apart from the elderflower, the only thing locally i can get is brambles which I don't actually like enough to be worth the effort of picking.
  • edited 30 June 2019 at 10:40AM
    snilloct1957snilloct1957 Forumite
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    edited 30 June 2019 at 10:40AM
    I had a favourite spot on a country road a few miles from where I live where I could pick blackberries to my heart's content. Then summer before last, the whole patch was annihilated by the farmer whose field runs alongside the hedge where it was growing. The verge at this point is approx. 5 metres wide, so it wasn't a traffic hazard, it wasn't blocking a gateway or causing drainage problems. There was no rhyme or reason for its destruction; I was devastated. I picked so many berries from this spot, a mature growth, that I gave most of them away. Now the birds have no supply to store up winter fat and the world is a poorer place.
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