Things to forage this Autumn

Autumn has arrived but the foraging season isn't over yet - in fact it's in full force still and some would say this is the best season for it! We're gathering as much as we can to preserve into jams, chutneys, desert bases and detergent (I know - keep reading!), and I'm looking forward to savouring these delights over the coming months! Don't forget to leave plenty for the local wildlife when you forage and, as always, do PLENTY of research before consuming something you've not experienced before! Here's some things we've been collecting this Autumn.

1. Conkers/Horse chestnuts

Not just for a fun game of conkers! Collect these hard balls, steep them in boiling water and make a soap! This soap can be used for hand wash or laundry detergent - or just stick in a spray bottle and use to wipe down surfaces! I know, it blew my mind too!

2. Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn berries are beautiful little red balls of goodness that can be used for all sorts from jam to ketchup. They are rich in anti-oxidents and a great vitamin boost for your winter diet! They are easily spotted along roadsides and in hedgerows - and once you know what to look for you'll suddenly see them everywhere!

3. Sloes

These purple fruits pack a punch and are great for flavouring gin or for making into jellies. They are little harder to spot, but many farmers use them in their boundaries or look for wooded areas where apple trees grow.

4. Apples

If you can find wild apple trees you are in for a treat! These fruits come into season during September/October and they make a warming desert or healthy snack. If you're finding your apple too tart to eat straight from the tree try baking it - it makes it a little sweeter!

5. Rosehips

Once used to boost vitamin levels during the war, rosehips can be gathered to make syrups and jams, and give your body the antioxidants that it craves during the winter months. Best to wait until after a frost (it makes them sweeter), these berries can be found where wild roses used to bloom.

6. Mushrooms

Warning! Check for toxicity before munching! Mushrooms are in plentiful bounty during the Autumn months and with a little care and attention to detail can be made into beautiful stocks, soups and as additions to meals. 

What things are you looking forward to foraging over these next few months? Let me know in the comments! Happy foraging!

Until next time...


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