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joanne

Foraging (or rather lack of it )

I haven't for one reason or another been able to go foraging this year at all - something I hope to correct this weekend but is it just me or does anyone get really really worked up when they see stuff that they just can't get too!!!

Since I've been travelling more on the train - I've noticed vast amounts of ripe blackberries, apples, rowans and mushrooms along side the train track and also in nearby fields - there is a particularly fine patch of huge blackberries just as you pull into Manchester Oxford Road - could there be such a thing as Foragers Rage ???
cab

The best blackberries are the ones you can't reach. My theory is that the strains of blackberry that grow fast and colonise new land have bigger berries, and the ones that are more resilient and last on a bit of ground for longest have smaller berries. That means that railway embankments, roadsides, cut-back hedges, anywhere thats treated mean, has better blackberries. And they're the ones you can't reach Smile

Apples and railway embankments go hand in hand. Generations of people throwing apple cores out of windows. Sometimes you can reach them, sometimes you can't. Frustrating when you can't! But keep your eyes open for pear, cherries, plums and as you've already seen rowan, and also elder and hawthorn. Old train embankments are wonderful for foraging.

Isn't there an overgrown old railway line going from Conder Green to Lancaster, follows the Lune? That might be fun foraging, can't remember what was up there. Oh, and used to get loads of stuff from along by the canal banks and by the Lune.
hedgehogpie

Cab, are the rowans ready to pick now? I want to do some jelly this year and maybe some rowan schnapps, but I've not tried using them before.
cab

hedgehogpie wrote:
Cab, are the rowans ready to pick now? I want to do some jelly this year and maybe some rowan schnapps, but I've not tried using them before.


I can't tell you whether the rowans down your way are ripe, but they're ripe here (although we've not got many rowan trees here). You want 'em to be almost red, they're rather orangey-red when ripe. They make a gorgeous jelly (best, in my opinion, to make the jelly with some apples in too).
joanne

cab wrote:
Isn't there an overgrown old railway line going from Conder Green to Lancaster, follows the Lune? That might be fun foraging, can't remember what was up there. Oh, and used to get loads of stuff from along by the canal banks and by the Lune.


Yeah there is - thats one of the places I intend going for a wander down this weekend - There and down the side of Morecambe Golf Course which goes onto the canal - I've always found loads of stuff down there.

The other place that really annoys me is the house a couple of doors away - filled with fantastic apple and pear trees - absolutely laden with fruit - the guy that owns the place doesn't use them but will he let anyone else in there - No - Hes very very odd to say the least - The house is an absolute wreck he dorsn't even live there - birds are flying in and out of one window but he's put new fencing up all round the garden!!!!
hedgehogpie

Great, thanks for that - we have a few places with them down here that I've been eyeing up. Will get out and have a forage - once it's stopped raining (not that I mind rain, but it goes up your sleeves when you're trying to pick stuff!).

There is an abundance of elderberries, nuts, sloes and plums of various kinds down here too - certainly more that I've see for a good year ot two. I'm wondering what that might mean for the coming winter....
cab

hedgehogpie wrote:

There is an abundance of elderberries, nuts, sloes and plums of various kinds down here too - certainly more that I've see for a good year ot two. I'm wondering what that might mean for the coming winter....


My prediction is that if we get a wet september we'll see the best mushroom harvest in donkeys years.
sally_in_wales

Just got back from a weekend at the parents with a car loaded down with plums, slightly underipe apples (cookers, so good crab apple substitutes at the moment) some courgettes that a nice chap who came to collect some surplus hens from my mum brought round and a freezer box full of fruit from my aunts allotment. Also had time to stew a vast batch of plums with spices and port whilst I was there, so many bottles and jars of those as well.
Very Happy
hedgehogpie

Hi Sally, hope you don't mind my asking - do you preserve your spiced plums in Port whole? I'm trying to find a good bottling recipe so that I can make some up for Christmas gifts.
sally_in_wales

these were just stewed with a bit of sugar, some cinnamon and a splash of port at the end. Not very fancy but a nice general purpose mix good for pies or for cooking
hedgehogpie

Thanks, sounds tasty. But then anything with alchohol in it appeals to me Laughing Laughing Laughing
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