Foraging Month By Month.

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  • Thank you for the responses.

    They certainly looked like blueberries rather than deadly nightshade. But not knowing enough I left them alone, it's just down the road so I can pop down and take a photo if anyone is able to identify them.

  • When I lived in Leeds I used to regularly forage the following:
    Ramsons (wild garlic) in May
    Nettles, also in spring for best flavor
    Elderflowers (june) - for wine and champagne. Tried the fritters, hated them....
    Cherries (late june) - Lots of urban cherry trees
    Rasberries (mid to late july) clumps in many woodlands
    Blackberries (august to october)
    Dandelions (august)
    Elderberries (september) - I used to eat them raw all the time, but they are best cooked in a crumble with apples
    Apples and pears (september)
    Various fungi (september to october)
    Sloes (october) - for sloe gin, not for eating. Taste crappy off the bush....
    Sweet Chestnuts (october to november) - if you get out of bed before the squirrels

    December to april - Not a clue. :S

  • All parts of the TUSSILAGO plant are useful for coughs. Its that bright yellow flower on a stem that looks a bit like Asparagus for the layers, its got wide flat thick leaves with a fluffy silvery backing and some call it COLTSFOOT. Just rip a bit off and chew. Any part will do - chopped and dried is good too.
    In a real emergency then Brown sauce is a good aching tooth fix. Gently working a clove in your mouth till soft and then biting on it is a good bacteria killer and it takes the pain out of an aching tooth.
    Garlic is a superb antibiotic, best chewed raw ( burning!) or chopped in small bits and swallowed with milk.
    Any raw onion eaten will loosen phlegm, as will ten drops of Tabasco in a glass of water.
    Honey applied to a would will kill bacteria and heal the would fast. Comfrey - chopped and bruised, or chopped and brewed will heal cuts fast, mend sprains and broken bones. Use the leaf, and the juice.
    Grinding an Iron tablet up to dust , and sprinkling this on an open would will stop bleeding FAST.

  • Small purple berries like tiny plums. Are they damson or sloe? Loadsa them at horsendon to

    Hi vanman,couldn't tell,would have to see a picture but I can tell you where damsons definately grow near you,Pitshanger park the side entrance on the Argyle road,you'll see them in the corner about half a dozen trees,I used to live round there and make Damson vodka from them.Also loads of good eating mushrooms in that park too.:)

  • I see wild mushrooms all the time an wud like to pick em but dont see the point if I can get organic ones from borough markt for nowt. :). I looked up the little plum fings an they r sloes.

  • If anyones in any doubt I think its apple picking time. We managed quite a lot from different locations last night. And due to our super bit of kit we can get the big ones near the top. It started off as my idea to use a childs fishing rod and net. With the hoop bent back a bit its perfect.... except not long enough. This is where Mr came in. He got an extendable fish rod and attached a fairly firm wired net to the end with some crimpers. Now we can extend the rod and make it smaller on retracting as the joints screw in. The technique is easy once you know how. Either pull or push the apple. If they are so ripe they are falling off the tree you need to be careful but "almost" ready gives chance to just get the odd one or two. The disadvantage of this bit of kit is at full length, and with less weight - say ONE apple it tends to flick - a bit like one of the medieval weapons.

  • That's an interesting link, Elder Flower.
    I've found out now that at least a couple of the three small apple trees on our allotment, which was newly-acquired this year, are Elstar, by the detailed descriptions given.
    They are just coming into good taste now, after looking almost ripe but still tasting a bit acidic in weeks past. Now I see that they will be better towards the end of this month, as they are an October apple.

  • Just of interest, anyone forage for other animals? Watched an interesting youtube on someone catching crayfish but along with snails pigeon springs to mind.

  • There used to be hundreds of pigeons around Northampton market square years back, and there's still quite a few there today.

    Some years ago, so the local market tale goes, an old girl would come along and scatter birdseed and bread, until she was surrounded by hundreds of pigeons. Then she would grab the nearest, wring its neck, and throw it into a sack. Then again, and again, until the sack grew heavy enough, when she would lug them home, presumably to consume them. You need quite a lot of pigeons to make a decent pile of meat, I would think.

    Anyway, not surprisingly someone eventually made an official complaint, and she was pulled by the bill, who told her people had complained, and she was behaving in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace. After a little lecture they let her go.
    So she had to seek her pigeon pie elsewhere.

  • Apparently Scouts try for squirrel stew occasionally, as the following describes:

    Andrew Richardson | 03/06/2015 at 21:39 We had a Scout camp recently where we got the Scouts to cook squirrel stew. They all collected armfuls of birch and ash wood and we(the leaders) collected one spruce log. They had roaring fires that were too hot to cook on for a long time. We had a Swedish torch and a bubbling pot of squirrel stew in no time!

    This is from an interesting blog I sometimes take a look at, on this page, but near the bottom of the replies.
    (For outdoor cooking, the actual article is about Swedish/Finnish 'torches' or 'candles', an interesting method of making a quick outdoor fire from a split log).

  • How about roadkill? I know they did an episode years back in River Cottage and few years back, can't remember the programme but the presenter was driving around with this old bloke down a busy road for roadkill, old bloke said he often drove down looking for roadkill. Being a veggie the roadkill, snails, pigeon doesn't set the taste buds dancing but interests me. Reason being most of the people I see talk about foraging really only pick blackberries and don't seem to pick much else.

  • How about roadkill? I know they did an episode years back in River Cottage and few years back, can't remember the programme but the presenter was driving around with this old bloke down a busy road for roadkill, old bloke said he often drove down looking for roadkill. Being a veggie the roadkill, snails, pigeon doesn't set the taste buds dancing but interests me. Reason being most of the people I see talk about foraging really only pick blackberries and don't seem to pick much else.

    I do road kill a bit , but you need to have seen it killed , and then it should not be to mangled . It needs bleeding out quickly after its died , or it will not be very nice . I know someone who found a hare and thought it was ok cos it was warm and floppy . Infact it had been dead ages , and was warm from been in the sun , and the rigor mortis had warn of . He spent much time vomiting .

    I get quite a few rabbits,wood pigeons and pheasants round here. I also have a veterinary connection which leads to the odd deer :)

  • Years back, when we had an old Morris van and did markets, we used to avoid the A-roads and go the back lanes if we got up early enough. (My missus is a bloody excellent navigator, reads a map like a book!).
    We were sometimes lucky enough to see road kill - mostly pheasants - on these back roads, and it was easy to stop and pick it up.
    And at other times we have picked up roadkill whenever seen - rabbits and pheasants mostly. Once someone hit a pheasant just outside a posh caravan sales entrance just as we passed by on the other side. We stopped and swung the van round in the first available space, and just got to it before some guys from the caravan place. Scooped it up and in the van and away; they must have thought we were gyppos!

  • I've seen dead pheasants on my way to work sometimes but not sure if it's human or foxes that move them as they aren't there when I make the return journey.

  • My missus found a road-kill fox once, but we didn't try to eat it, although I'm told some people eat dog.
    So what she did with it isn't really about foraging...:)
    And not for the faint-hearted. And I wouldn't want to go off-topic.

  • You're getting warm.
    She skinned and cured it with something like salt and alum, an old-fashioned process she read up on, and hung it out to cure on our little flat's back balcony. It was surprising how much work was involved. The neighbours noticed, of course.
    (Her local street cred went up very considerably, and owners of large dogs began crossing the street when they saw her coming:D).
    She made a fox-skin hat out of it, complete with the head, and glass beads for eyes, and a local gal who took part in Viking and Anglo-Saxon re-enactments bought it for £20, and wore it as part of the costume.

    Marian - my missus - just wanted the experience of doing it the old-fashioned way. Like me, she was surprised by the length of time and the work involved, to do it properly.

  • Hats of to Marian (no pun intended) bet she got a great deal of enjoyment out of it, a major reason I loved Time Team was when they created something using the techniques of the time.

  • Yes, we used to go around Marian's Mum's place to watch Time Team sometimes, one of the few programs we enjoyed.
    It always used to amaze me how much effort people in olden times had to put into doing fairly common-place things. Scything a field of wheat must have been very hard work; I've only ever used a scythe for short periods, and found it a considerable effort.
    No wonder they took to doing a bit of seasonal foraging from time to time, foraging must have made a change from heavy labouring work.