Thursday, 15 September 2011

Free food part 1

After the Elderberry excursion, I decided to take a small trip around our local park to see what other fruits I could find. I remember form precious walks in this park that there are a few other fruit trees and while it's still autumn I wanted to make the most of the free loot.

First I came across some more elderberries, they looked pretty good so I picked a few bunches. Then I got distracted by all the squirrels around, there were loads! Doing the same as me I suppose, except I wasn't going to bury all the things I picked. I looked around in some places I thought I remembered seeing plum trees, but found nothing, I think it might be a bit late for plums. Then I found a huge apple tree with an abundance of apples. I had to clamber through some brambles and grass but luckily I was wearing jeans so it wasn't too bad. Make sure if you go foraging to wear sturdy clothes, leggings or tights wouldn't have cut it, or rather I would have got cut if I were wearing them...get it? Good. So I picked a few apples, not loads, I didn't have a massive bag to carry them in, plus I can always go back if I want more.

After wandering around a bit more looking for plums I found another fruit tree that looked like it was in the apple family, the fruits were small and pear shaped, I picked one to take home and find out what it was.

Then I finally actually found some plums! But they were way too high to pick. I thought about shaking the tree, but by this time there were a few dog walkers around and I didn't feel like drawing that much attention to myself.

A little further down the path I found some Sloe berries, these are related to the plum but they're much smaller, they're used to make Sloe gin! I picked a few, but again there weren't many.

After this, I called it a day. I ended up with a few good things, apples are obviously a good and substantial fruit to make pies with so I was pleased with those.

If you feel like going foraging, make sure you know what you're looking for, don't eat anything you're not sure about. It seems from my experience that most black or dark berries are edible to humans, but red berries are not. Don't swear by this rule as I'm no expert but I would say, when you're out for a walk somewhere, no matter what time of year, look out for trees you recognise and maybe get to know what fruit trees look like, so maybe you can go back int he autumn and get some free fruit!

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