Karen. August 5 2011
- ground elder
Karen. July 7 2011
- elderflowers and berries
Karen. June 17 2011
- wild about food
Karen. June 9 2011
a sting in the tale
Karen. April 21 2011
Chef! II - Cauliflower tempura
Karen. April 5 2011
Karen. March 11 2011
Further reading ::
Is foraging fruit legal? BBC website >
Legal issues ::
Not sure? Don’t pick it.
Foraging on private land? The landowner’s permission is needed.
It’s illegal to uproot plants or sell foraged food without the landowner’s permission.
It is illegal to pick anything in your local park.
Foraging on a Site of Special Scientific Interest is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
The National Trust has byelaws on their land that forbid foraging.
Steer clear of nature reserves that are managed to protect wildlife.
Foraging a commercially grown crop is theft.
Fruit on overhanging branches belongs to the tree owner.
No more than 1.5kg of mushrooms should be gathered per session, for personal use only.
Respect the environment; take care not to trample rare species.
Look out for bye law notices.
Walden Local Food sells a small amount of foraged food, with permission of the landowner (who is one of our directors).
The flip side ::
Wildlife is under much pressure due to mans activities and population size. Rotting fruit can benefit wildlife such as butterflies, badgers and voles, specially over winter when food is scarce.
Foraging - a plum job Karen. Aug 12 2011
Can you hear that? The sounds of greengages, bullaces, damsons and wild plums ripening to plumpness as you read. Over the next few weeks one variety or other of plum (Prunus domestica) bejewels the hedgerows.
Now, I know the exact location of a heavily laden plum tree. Each time I pass
the bows of promise, I stop, check for onlookers, and give one fruit a little
squeeze to test for ripeness. Of course, I am not the only person to have staked
their claim on this buxom bounty – one family, posing as innocent dog
walkers, also have this tree under surveillance. Still, there is enough
for everyone’s crumble, and the upper most branches, which are quite out
of reach to those unwilling to form a human-plum-plundering-pyramid or wear
stilts, are reserved for the birds. I wouldn’t care to estimate how many
In the Hedgerow
With stilts tree climbing foragers have come a cropper whilst overreaching for such a crop. Foraging is an activity for people of all heights, but plum season would be a good time to entice your tallest friends to join you and your carrier bags on a country walk with the promise of a plum cobbler. Failing that, as ripe plums ease away from their stalks with little resistance, a stick can be useful branch tapping tool.
If jam floats your boat, then grab a few cooking apples from a neighbouring tree to top up the pectin levels in the plum pan and enjoy the sweet fruity taste smothered on toast or dolloped in your porridge for months to come.