Friday, 31 August 2018

Foraging for winter goodness

Today is the last day of summer according to the gardening calendar and the meteorologists.

Although very early this year, I have finally managed to locate and harvest, 1lb 11oz of elderberries:
They have been washed, combed from their stalks with a fork, picked over for any remaining stalks, patted dried and frozen for winter use.

Also picked, were some very, very early sloes. Normally, these are harvested after the first frosts, which help to breakdown their exterior wall of skin to allow for colour and flavour development in whatever you use them in.

Just 1lb 4oz of these were harvested. There were still quite a few left but I don't actually need too many:
They too are now in the freezer and once thawed, will be ready to use.

Although it was a short drive to where we harvested them, once there, whilst I was busy, DB took Ruby for a trundle along a restricted bridleway.


12 comments:

  1. The birds get the elderberries so quickly here - no one else gets a look n

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    1. They are certainly disappearing fast here because they are so early.

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  2. When I looked up 'when does autumn start' it read that this year 2018 Autumn begins officially 21st September. So I'm confused.

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    1. The Autumn equinox happens September 21st to 23rd, when the sun passes southwards over the equator, heralding the start of Autumn, for us and Spring to others. March equinox the sun moves northwards, Spring for us but Autumn for others. For me, the 21st to 23rd, is when Autumn begins. Weather and gardening wise, it is the 1st of September. Winter 1st December. Spring 1st March, and summer 1st June.

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  3. We used to eat the elderberries from the trees when we were playing out as children. I haven't seen any this year as the trees are few and far between around here.
    There's something wonderful about squirreling away foraged food

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    1. There is indeed. We also got a few damsons. Some years I have harvested rosehips for syrup.

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  4. I hate the thought of autumn starting, I'm not ready to give up summer yet! I made elderberry cordial a couple of years ago but haven't bothered this year - we have so much other fruit still to process. Haven't seen damsons for a long time...when I was a child we had a big damson bush at the bottom of our garden, Mum made jam with them every year. Don't think I've ever had damson jam since. Thanks for the memory!

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    1. You are welcome. Damsons here are difficult to find. I hope to make some elderberry syrup and jam later on. Just bought some cheaper apricots to freeze for jam/puddings later in the year.

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  5. As yet I have harvested very little from the hedgerows this Autumn. x

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  6. Sadly, there is nothing to forage here in the city. If we go out into the mountains there are lots of different berry bushes but we would be competing with the bears!! They are more than welcome to them!!!

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