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Autumn Foraging


SP1986

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Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

Now the time of year has come for a good old forage who has been out collecting/snacking?

Up until now, I have just had some of the Blackberries but not many of the early crop are ripened competely yet. I usually just eat them straight off the plant, any residing bugs are just a little bit of welcome protein.

Also Elderberries, I tried one raw, I know some people can feel nausea afterwards, but I didn't feel it after one.

Damsons are tasty, even raw, and the initial taste of sloes are nice eaten raw before it turn your mouth inside out.

what are people eating?

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snowy winters, hot, sunny springs and summers.
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire

Plenty of blackberries up Runcorn hills. Very quiet and isolated area, so you know they are fresh and reasonably good to eat!

ooooooooo now I feel like Bear Grylls biggrin.png

If you guys could take a few pictures of where you pick them from, that would be great! I will head up the hills tomorrow and take some pictures of my own. :)

Edited by Backtrack
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Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

I had the misfortune to break down last week, whilst waiting for the recovery truck I noticed I'd managed to end up beside a laden Damson tree - ended up with a carrier bag full. They're currently in the freezer but I think they're destined to be turned into Damson Vodka, perfect tipple for a cold winter evening.

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snowy winters, hot, sunny springs and summers.
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire

Are there any other fruit that looks like a Damson that is potentially poisonous?

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Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

No, although Sloes look like Damsons. Damsons look like small plums, usually have a blueish/purple colour to them, and have a characteristic oval shape.

You can eat sloes raw but if you do, you'll know about it. Eat a banana skin and you'll know what I mean.

Generally as a rule of thumb all clustered berries are safe to eat such as raspberries, blackberries etc.

You can eat Hawthorn berries, but they're not greatly palatable, and you should not ingest the seeds. Also rose hips are good to eat, even raw, but you'll have to remove the seeds with are really irritating.

If you can't ID it for certain then don't even try it, it's not worth it. Shiny bright red berries are usually a warning sign - with one or two major exceptions, the most well known being redcurrants, but its unlikely you'll find these in the wild around here.

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snowy winters, hot, sunny springs and summers.
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire

Okay cheers Stephen. So generally cluster berries are good to eat :)

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Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

Yes but if you dont recognise it, don't eat it. For example Blackberries are easy to recognise, as are Raspberries.

When I say clustered I mean exactly like Blackberries and Raspberries, there are some berries in clusters that are orange and bright coloured that are very poisonous, but these look nothing like Blackberries or Raspberries.

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Posted
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark

Blackberries, ah yes, they are what we Yorkshire folk call brambles - the berries and the plant itself. I pick brambles every year, and I understand there are several hundred different varieties, which explains the widely differing maturing times.

I recommend rose hip jam, as SP says though, the seeds have to come out, and it is tedious work.

One thing I have given up foraging for is fungi. I am afraid that the expectation of wild mushrooms surpasses their eating. Even Boletus edulis is an anticlimax, if you can find one without maggots that is. sorry.gif

Edited by Alan Robinson
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Posted
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level

http://www.countrylovers.co.uk/wfs/wfsberries.htm

Here is a good site that tells you some edible and non edible berries.

Don't eat nightshade berries or you'll trip balls then die.

And the other one that you really have to wtch out for is bryony berries, which are from a climbing plant that grows in hedges and the berries form in clusters, they are DEADLY poisonous so you really should learn to recognise them.

As kids, we used to call them 'snotberries' because they are very gooey/stickey adn we loved to throw them at each other and rub them into girls pig tails and stuff lol!!

The other ones we use to love as kids where what we called 'bloodberries' I'm think they were from mahonia aquifolium, but the best thing about them was how you could squidge a load in you hands and then run around saying you'd cut your hand whilst the thick blood red juice dripped out around your fingers lol!

Hours of fun!

Oh and I think the correct term for blackberries, raspberries loganberries and the ilk is 'composite' berries, as opposed to 'cluster' that term could throw some folk so I thought I'd correct it...(I'm not usually a pedant, but it's important where poisonous stuff is involved).

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Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow

Damsons not quiet ready round here — another week should be good to go. Squirrels are stripping the nut trees, but the nuts are well off yet. No mushrooms, too dry.

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Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

Well, I have had some lovely apples from around the industrial estate (not scrumped!) and two huge bags of blackberries from the car park here at work - I'm thinking crumble!!!! Also had a big bag of Victoria plums, but I'm not a fan so I gave those away.

Got my eye on some very juicy sloes locally to work as I have to stock up again soon on sloe gin. Last years 7 litres was absolutely wonderful and I fully expect to make more, and of a comparable quality this year.

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Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

Oh and I think the correct term for blackberries, raspberries loganberries and the ilk is 'composite' berries, as opposed to 'cluster' that term could throw some folk so I thought I'd correct it...(I'm not usually a pedant, but it's important where poisonous stuff is involved).

Thanks for this, the name has escaped me, I thought clustered was a little dodgy as there are poisonous clustered berries out there.. composite is a much better description.

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Posted
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snowy winters, hot, sunny springs and summers.
  • Location: Runcorn, Cheshire

Yes but if you dont recognise it, don't eat it. For example Blackberries are easy to recognise, as are Raspberries.

When I say clustered I mean exactly like Blackberries and Raspberries, there are some berries in clusters that are orange and bright coloured that are very poisonous, but these look nothing like Blackberries or Raspberries.

Yeah you're right. Just had a look at that link that someone posted above, most of the cluster berries are edible, but I will just stick to blackberries. :lol:

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Posted
  • Location: Near Beverley, East Yorks. (5 metres a.s.l.)
  • Weather Preferences: Something good in all four seasons
  • Location: Near Beverley, East Yorks. (5 metres a.s.l.)

Not exactly foraged, but I was very pleased to find

boxes of both plums and apples on the verge sides in

my village, with 'free, help yourself' .. made for two

super puds this week. :)

On the allotments folks are leaving out free produce in

abundance too.

I shall soon look for brambles down by the canal.

BL.

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Posted
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark

Got my eye on some very juicy sloes locally to work as I have to stock up again soon on sloe gin. Last years 7 litres was absolutely wonderful and I fully expect to make more, and of a comparable quality this year.

I have a whole colony of blackthorn trees encroaching on my garden from the north. They self-sow very readily, and have done for the privet hedge in one place. Now I rather like the blackthorn trees for their shelter, so do the birds, and I am inclined to let them have their own way to a certain extent. Therefore Coast, how do you make sloe gin? Isn't it just wine made from the sloes?

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Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

Therefore Coast, how do you make sloe gin? Isn't it just wine made from the sloes?

2007-sloes-with-sugar.jpg

Owwww no!!! It's a wonderful Winter drink and not unlike Cherry Brandy with a bit more kick!

Lots of old wives tales about pricking the sloes with a real silver pin and someone else suggested to me you freeze them first and then let them unfreeze so they split and let the sugars out. I just prick them with a cocktail stick and add equal parts gin, sugar and fruit. Then shake the bottles every day for two weeks, then every two days etc etc. Make it about now, then drink it from December onwards (if it lasts that long!!) I only use the value gin as the flavour of the sloes soon overtakes the juniper taste in the gin anyway.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sloegin_7722

sloe-gin-recipe.jpg

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

Also delicious if you substitute the Gin with Vodka.

Freezing the fruit really does work, saves all that time pricking and the purple stained fingers.

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Posted
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'

Our greengages and cooking plums have not long gone and made superb fruit fool. The damsons are now ready in most favoured spots on the trees. I've got about 25 trees and it's a fairly good crop this year. 4 years ago the trees were so laden the branches were splitting, We picked 210 Lbs (pounds) in weight and almost as many were left unreachable on the top branches of the trees. We sold most, but made a few gallon of damson gin and wine.

The nearby local village is known as the damson village and were grown for their dye as well as a fruit crop. An interesting article ( See Page 2) with recepies from a few years ago http://pattingham.co...ue%203%2007.pdf

There's loads of hazelnuts about this year as well. I'm looking forward to the fungi season. There's a nearby field where there are usually large field mushrooms and giant puffballs quite literally the size of footballs.

WARNING: Don't eat fungi that you cannot clearly and confidentally identify..

Edited by kar999
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Posted
  • Location: Ashford, Kent
  • Weather Preferences: Anything
  • Location: Ashford, Kent

Can't wait for the mushrooms this year, last year was so disappointing with hardly any found in my usual haunts. I don't know if if my timing was off or if it was just a poor year for them, one thing I did notice was lots more people about collecting mushrooms, seems like the competition is fierce these days!

I've got 2 weeks off in September and I'm planning a foraging trip to the New forest or Ashdown forest as I drive through there a lot and it looks very shroomy.

I'm always amazed though at just what can be found in urban areas when it comes to free food.

Within 1/2 mile of my house I can find cherries, plums, apples, sloes, damsons, blackberries, wild garlic and musrooms to name just a few!

*HOT TIP*

Look for shaggy Ink cap mushrooms on the lawned areas of new housing estates, this mushrooms thrives on recently disturbed ground and can be found in their hundreds but be quick! They rapidly turn to an awful black goo in a short time and need to be cooked within a few hours of picking. fryed quickly with garlic and parsley they are heavenly!

Pick them when they look like this:

shaggy-ink-cap-4.jpg

Not when they look like this:

shaggy-ink-cap-2.jpg

Avoid the Common inkcap:

inkcap.jpg

Which grows in clumps and although not poisonous in itself will make you very ill if consumed with alcohol! As always, the textbook advice is never ever eat anything, mushroom or otherwise which you cannot 100% identify.

Saying that however, don't be frightened, get yourself a good book and get out there, just stay off my patch!!blum.gif

Edited by Azores Hi
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Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK
  • Weather Preferences: anything extreme or intense !
  • Location: Milton Keynes MK

Well after sampling some very fine 'East Sussex' sloe gin I have decided to make some myself this year, I sent the kids out today to forage for some sloe's, I showed them a picture of what they looked like and told them where to find them and they went off while I had my hair cut earlier and came back with these...

post-10773-0-93604000-1314809546_thumb.j

..they've done really well (and have now gone off on their bikes to get blackberries - we are going to pick the apples off the tree in the garden and freeze this years bounty crop for crumble's during the winter).

Now I need to get to Tesco's for some value gin (I hope I don't meet anyone I know while I have a trolley full of gin) then I can get pricking and bottling !!

Roll on Christmas...I've got two bottles of honey rum brought back from the Canary Islands to drink as well drinks.gif

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Posted
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark

just stay off my patch!!blum.gif

Calm yourself Azores, I've given up mushroom picking. The taste is over-hyped, and maggots usually get to the better tasting species before we do. Tell you what, you can have my patch!

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Posted
  • Location: Ashford, Kent
  • Weather Preferences: Anything
  • Location: Ashford, Kent

Calm yourself Azores, I've given up mushroom picking. The taste is over-hyped, and maggots usually get to the better tasting species before we do. Tell you what, you can have my patch!

Denmark may be a little bit out of the way!biggrin.png

I know what you mean by the maggots though. I found some birch bolete this weekend which were in perfect condition but only after discarding dozens which were no good at all!

However I have to disagree on the flavour issue, Boletus edulus is in my opinion one of the finest mushrooms there are, if I get a glut (very rare) I dry them and mix them in with dried boletes such as the birch bolete. The flavour of the dried edulus will overpower and improve the more subtle flavour of the birch boletes,.At one point I had filled 2 x 2 litre jars with dried mushrooms but after last year I'm just left with the end of one of the jars. Considering these dried mushrooms at there cheapest are 3 quid for 40g I'd say it's definately worth the effort.

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Posted
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark
  • Location: Taasinge, Denmark

However I have to disagree on the flavour issue, Boletus edulus is in my opinion one of the finest mushrooms there are, if I get a glut (very rare) I dry them and mix them in with dried boletes such as the birch bolete. The flavour of the dried edulus will overpower and improve the more subtle flavour of the birch boletes,.At one point I had filled 2 x 2 litre jars with dried mushrooms but after last year I'm just left with the end of one of the jars. Considering these dried mushrooms at there cheapest are 3 quid for 40g I'd say it's definately worth the effort.

Perhaps I'm a culinary philistine, or maybe I've ruined my taste buds with my home made apple vinegar for pickling gherkins and beetroot, but mushrooms do little for my palate any more cray.gif

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Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

Now I need to get to Tesco's for some value gin (I hope I don't meet anyone I know while I have a trolley full of gin) then I can get pricking and bottling !!

good.gif I always find that the cheap gin works really well!

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Posted
  • Location: Ashford, Kent
  • Weather Preferences: Anything
  • Location: Ashford, Kent

good.gif I always find that the cheap gin works really well!

Sure does! I got given 1a bag full of Damsons at the weekend so instead of sloe gin I'm doing damson gin this year! I've also started 2 gallons of damson wine which is scrummy but always turns out too sweet, great to drink ice cold with some cheese though. I've still got about 3 lbs of damsons left though, any ideas?

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