Me and my children gathered these blackberries on our way back from the library, I had meant to bring tubs but had forgotten and was sad about this as we passed a rather abundant patch of briars when my 7 yr old had an idea – we drank the water out of her water bottle and the babies beaker and then filled them with black berries. When we got back I rinsed them and froze them reasoning there wasn’t enough there to do much with.
A quick tip is if you find they have lots of grubs or maggots in them then just give them a little soak in a weak solution of water and table salt, this extracts the bugs!
So having assessed the local forage a bit better this year than I managed last year, I have decided that I want to attempt black berry wine for which I need a lot of black berries – looks like we are going to be out picking most days!
Jean has requested crumbles and Mary cakes – I like to make ‘blood’ pies for halloween as well which I freeze. I think my main limit is going to be freezer space. We also spotted elderberries, rose hips, sloes, damsons, crab apples and haws so all I need for hedgerow jam is some rowan berries! People have been asking me if I am going to make it again and having already received a lovely jar of black current jam from one friend I feel I should get cracking!
I am still sadly awaiting an allotment but some of the best forage I found last year was along the pathway next to them last year.
I am still sorely missing the Perri Pear tree though that I used to get the pears from at the old house but I have just discovered that there are such things as community orchards so I am hoping we can get involved in same way with these things.
My favourite book for forage is still Food For Free by Richard Mabey – I have a very old copy but there are upto date ones with photographs and stuff.
The recipe I use for hedge row jam comes from a Womens Institute book.