Just before I start this post, I wanted to let you know that I am still going to be hosting a giveaway for the Monologue notebooks, but I locked myself out of my Rafflecopter account and I’m just waiting for their tech guys to fix it. So, the giveaway will be a bit later than originally planned :)
The last couple of weeks have seen a heavy mix of rain and sun in my corner of the world. On the whole, the weather hasn’t been great (it’s been like autumn in August – in fact some of the trees around here have been turning yellow for a couple of weeks now!). However, all that water and periods of sun have helped the blackberries a lot, and that’s good!
I’ve been on a couple of blackberry picking trips in the last week. We haven’t made crumble yet, we’ve just eaten them fresh with sugar (and caramel, which is very nice!).
I’ve also picked crab apples. Crab apples are the native variety of many commercial varieties of apple in the UK. They are quite small, and the tree was often used in hedging so you can find them fairly easily in the countryside if you have a look. The fruit is a bit sharp raw, but when cooked with some sugar it’s lovely. The skin is a little thicker than a regular apple, but it’s all good for you!
I’ve also harvested some hazelnuts. As with crab apples, these grow widely in the UK as a hedging tree. You don’t often see the fruit though because the crafty little squirrels usually get them before humans spot them. I have a secret location with hazel trees that is squirrel-free, but unfortunately a human got there before I did so I only got a couple of handfuls of nuts. You can pick them green (as above) and ripen them at home, or you can eat them green (some people say they’re nicer that way). I’m drying mine in the garage now for Christmas.
It’s not enough to live on, of course, but it’s satisfying to pick some free food in the wild. If you want to do the same, you ought to check with the landowner if the land is private (as they may want the fruit themselves, and technically it is theirs), and make sure you leave some for the wildlife: only take what you intend to use.