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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Tine
    • By MSE Tine 18th Jun 19, 7:50 AM
    • 140Posts
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    MSE Tine
    Who else forages?
    • #1
    • 18th Jun 19, 7:50 AM
    Who else forages? 18th Jun 19 at 7:50 AM
    As a long time fan of foraging (even as a kid I went shrooming with my aunt and uncle... I was probably more hindrance than help, but I loved it!) I've over the years (and through several countries) foraged blueberries, cranberries, mushrooms, nettles, apples, blackberries, horseradish, elderflower and berries, sloes and multiple other goodies.

    (DO check our Free Food Guide - point 9 for more info on where you are allowed to forage )

    I'd love to know who else is an avid Forager and what you normally find and what you do with it?

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    Last edited by MSE Tine; 19-06-2019 at 9:12 AM.
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Page 1
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 18th Jun 19, 10:36 AM
    • 4,329 Posts
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    tessie bear
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:36 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:36 AM
    i like picking blackberries but thats about it....love making bramble jeyy its a lovely colour and tastes fab
    onwards and upwards
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 18th Jun 19, 10:45 AM
    • 242 Posts
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    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:45 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:45 AM
    I always go foraging for blackberries. Also sometimes get crab apples, damsons, bullaces, rosehips and sloes. Just made 5 litres of elderflower cordial yesterday. I wish I was more educated and could look for more.
    • snilloct1957
    • By snilloct1957 18th Jun 19, 10:52 AM
    • 158 Posts
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    snilloct1957
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:52 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:52 AM
    My wife and I are avid foragers. In late summer and autumn we forage for blackberries, rose hips, apples and cherries. Right now, we are picking a roadside weed we call plantain, from which my wife makes a herbal rub for aching limbs and back pain - she is Thai and uses it as a massage balm in her traditional Thai massage therapy business.
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 18th Jun 19, 11:30 AM
    • 4,329 Posts
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    tessie bear
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 19, 11:30 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 19, 11:30 AM
    I always go foraging for blackberries. Also sometimes get crab apples, damsons, bullaces, rosehips and sloes. Just made 5 litres of elderflower cordial yesterday. I wish I was more educated and could look for more.
    Originally posted by Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    i quite fancy having a go at the cordial is it easy to make ?
    onwards and upwards
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 18th Jun 19, 12:23 PM
    • 3,057 Posts
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    thriftwizard
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 19, 12:23 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 19, 12:23 PM
    Meeee! I live on the edge between town & country so practice both rural and urban foraging. Many residents of our little town have become so used to me knocking and asking whether I can pick their apples/pears/japonica quinces in autumn that they've got some waiting in a bag for me! I always return a jar of whatever I've made with them. One local Freecycler with a small orchard always sends me an email in autumn saying, they're ready, come & get them!

    I've just bottled up my second batch of elderflower champagne for this year; you can buy the cordial relatively cheaply, but not champagne & there's nothing like a glass at Christmas to bring the summer flooding back in. Elderflower fritters are rather nice, and I usually make strawberry & elderflower jam (just throw a handful of the flowers, stripped off their stalks, into your jam as it approaches setting point, and some lime juice helps bring out the flavour) too. It's been really rainy for a couple of weeks now, though, and though there are plenty of flowers still coming out, I doubt they'll have much flavour, though I'm quite prepared to be corrected!

    Out on the drove roads through the countryside to the west, in autumn I can usually find hazelnuts, walnuts, crab apples, sloes and yet more blackberries. (Which always remind me of the days when I used to pick them along the edges of the Tube lines in London.) At this time of year, in one or two places where there used to be cottages & gardens, I can find blackberries, gooseberries and redcurrants; the plants have survived even though the habitations are just bumps in the ground now & don't appear on any maps.

    It's interesting what the plants can tell you about the history of an area; Babington's Leek (edible!) grows in our front garden, which only appears on the site of old monastery kitchen gardens; indeed there was a monastery here once, but it went in the Dissolution of the Monasteries nearly 500 years ago - but the plants are still here!

    I'm 60 now and have been foraging just about all my life - my Dad was a dedicated forager - but I'm still learning. Yesterday I brought back an armful of goosefoot "weeds" from the edge of our allotment for our chickens, only to discover that we can eat them too! Too late, alas... they went down those beaks like moonshine. Ah well, unfortunately there are plenty more where they came from...
    Angie

    GC July 19 - 419.37/400 - eeek!
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    (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
    • CapricornLass
    • By CapricornLass 18th Jun 19, 2:18 PM
    • 257 Posts
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    CapricornLass
    • #7
    • 18th Jun 19, 2:18 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Jun 19, 2:18 PM
    I forage too. Blackberries and sloes, but I have also picked up and used apples, crab apples, elderflowers elderberries and rowans in the past. I've used sloes mainly for sloe gin, but also made jelly from them, elderberry cordial (good for colds) and elderflower champagne and for flavouring gooseberry jelly.



    Unfortunately OH hates elderflower, so I don't tend to make very much with them now.
    Sealed Pot Challenge no 035
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 18th Jun 19, 8:15 PM
    • 242 Posts
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    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • #8
    • 18th Jun 19, 8:15 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Jun 19, 8:15 PM
    I would love to try making elderflower champagne. I tend to stick with cordial at the moment. I have a recipe written down for a blackberry and elderberry cordial which I would like to try in the autumn. I'm hoping it will taste like the ribena winter spice they did as a limited edition.
    • Hard Up Hester
    • By Hard Up Hester 18th Jun 19, 8:40 PM
    • 4,057 Posts
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    Hard Up Hester
    • #9
    • 18th Jun 19, 8:40 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Jun 19, 8:40 PM
    Me, I made elderflower cordial a couple of days ago, I make sloe gin, blackberry vodka every year.
    Chin up, Titus out.
    • ecogeorge
    • By ecogeorge 18th Jun 19, 10:02 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    ecogeorge
    About to bottle 2 gals of rhubarb wine, elderflower wine in demi-johns , elder flower champagne bottled..
    Local wild garlic almost over , allottment looking good -already picked lettuce/raddish/purple sprouting -broad beans any day ....... yum.
    • Whats the Cost
    • By Whats the Cost 19th Jun 19, 12:18 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Whats the Cost
    I do collect Blackberrys but I need to know how to use other fruits in recipes. It's knowing what is safe to pick. On a walk this weekend with my sister we seen lots of cherry trees but we don't know if they are safe to eat???🤔🍒🤔
    • relishy57
    • By relishy57 19th Jun 19, 7:36 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    relishy57
    Blackberries every autumn and raspberries if available in summer.
    • wort
    • By wort 19th Jun 19, 9:22 AM
    • 977 Posts
    • 11,639 Thanks
    wort
    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???
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • MSE Tine
    • By MSE Tine 19th Jun 19, 9:25 AM
    • 140 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    MSE Tine
    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???
    Originally posted by wort
    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

    Never pick something you're not sure of though
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    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 19th Jun 19, 9:55 AM
    • 9,673 Posts
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    DigForVictory
    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.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 19th Jun 19, 10:15 AM
    • 1,191 Posts
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    PipneyJane
    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 Crab Apple Chilli Cheese.

    - Pip
    Last edited by PipneyJane; 19-06-2019 at 10:26 AM. Reason: to swap the sloe gin truffle link
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

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    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 19th Jun 19, 11:14 AM
    • 16,797 Posts
    • 143,810 Thanks
    JackieO
    Mainly blackberries ,but I also get apples from my neighbours trees and some of their rhubarb as well in season
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • bsuije
    • By bsuije 19th Jun 19, 12:35 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    bsuije
    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 Mum
    • By Working Mum 20th Jun 19, 9:54 AM
    • 415 Posts
    • 1,588 Thanks
    Working Mum
    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
    • halogen
    • By halogen 20th Jun 19, 2:47 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 381 Thanks
    halogen
    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???
    Originally posted by wort
    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.
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