Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Hedgerow Harvesting

Well today wasn't a great day. I went to the bank and discovered that the private savings account I had stored away for a rainy day didn't have anything like the money in it that I expected. In fact it had none in whatsoever. Clerical cock-up or forgetful me, I don;t know yet, but bursting into tears in the middle of a bank is always embarrassing.

For once, though, I managed to curtail my drama queen tendencies and, instead of driving home to lie down on the floor and sob piteously (as I really wanted to), I took a detour home via my favourite place to walk and forage - the campus of my old Uni. Unfortunately the height of the blackberry season was over, guess I should have made more than one trip at the beginning of September when the bushes were laden with luscious purple fruit. Note to self for future: blackberries are best in the Midlands around about 5th September.

I had a bit of a pick and got a few handfuls, but they're not as plentiful or perfect as the ones I picked a fortnight ago. I took a look at the rosehips, but I don't think they're quite ripe yet. Apparently you want them with a slight wrinkle to their flesh and most of the ones on the bushes were still taut-skinned and firm. I'll have to check back in another week. I'm determined not to waste all those hips this year, not like the blackberries. I also picked a few haws off the hawthorn bushes. they looked dark red and glorious, but I'm not sure if they're edible or not. If not I'll just have to chuck them in the garden and let the birdies gobble them up. [PHOTO: Haws at the top, LEFT: possibly unripe hip, RIGHT: possibly ripe hip, dirty, blackberry stained fingers on far left]

In other news the sloes look amazing and I think I'm going to have a go at doing something with those, also. Apparently they need a good frost to ripen properly. Their dark blue skins have a couldy bloom on them at present and apparently you want them dark and shiny and ripe enough that a good shake will dislodge them. They're still cloudy now, though and tough to pick, so I guess I'll have to wait a while. I'm very excited about being a hedgerow harvester though - so cool.


  1. Just to say that I found a link about using Hawthorn berries, doesn't sound terribly tempting, however:

  2. This, however, sounds lovely:

  3. Take a look at my hawthorn article on the Herb Society site I made hawthorn/blackberry/apple peelings/rosehip cordial yesterday with various spices..very tasty.