Tag Archives: fruit foraging

Waiting for the raspberries to ripen

New season's raspberries growing
New season’s raspberries – green but growing

Wild fruit foraging is one of my favourite Summer tasks and in our area there’s a forager’s feast with lots of delicious berries to find. The raspberries are usually the first to ripen and one or two berries are just beginning to show their rosy tones.

New season's raspberries
New season’s raspberries – just beginning to ripen
Last-of-the-blackberries tea scones
“Last-of-the-blackberries” tea scones

Whilst we’re awaiting the imminent raspberry-picking season, I’ve still been working my way through the last few of last year’s blackberries from my freezer. I concocted these rather delicious blackberry tea scones, tinged pink from their added wild fruit. I love cooking with wild food.

J Peggy Taylor

Apple tree - ripe for picking

Fruit Foraging for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Sunday saw us tangling with the undergrowth to pick our first batch of apples this Summer. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the ripening progress of our ‘wild’ apples. There are several old apple trees on some land nearby to us that is sadly destined for ‘development’, but this year at least we will be picking the fruit as usual.

Foraging for apples
Foraging for apples

We’ve had lots of fun apple-picking with our boys over the years. They still love the excuse to climb into the trees, while I stand below to catch the apples as they’re tossed in my direction – good job we’ve played a lot of cricket too 😉

Climbing in the apple tree to pick apples
Climbing the apple trees to pick the fruit has always been popular with our boys

Some of the apples will be added to some of my previously-picked-and-frozen raspberries to make delicious homemade jam.

Storing raspberries for home freezing
Adding a second batch of raspberries to the container of frozen berries

Some more apples will be added to the next fruit on my Summer fruit-picking timetable too – rowanberries.

Rowan trees laden with their ripe orange berries
Rowan trees laden with their ripe orange berries
Rowanberries - close-up
Rowanberries really are full of sunshine

Bunches of these bright orange-red berries decorate the rowan trees in late Summer. Rowanberry jelly is another preserve I like to make each Summer to my own recipe. Chopped apples are part of my rowanberry jelly mixture. I love the colour of this jelly … and the taste!

Rowanberry and Apple jelly
Rowanberry and Apple jelly

Fruit harvesting is a regular part of Summer and early Autumn for our family. We are fortunate to be able to forage for several wild and semi-wild fruits in our local area. Raspberries, apples, rowanberries … then the next on my list will be blackberries, which are just beginning to ripen in sunny spots here and there.

Ripe blackberries
Ripe blackberries

The theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Earth or Harvest Season. Harvest for me means reaping the fulfilment of the promises of Spring in the bounty of Summer and Autumn, when the earth and the sun have done their work. As well as fruit foraging to feed ourselves, we also always make sure we leave plenty for the animals and birds who rely on Nature’s harvest too.

J Peggy Taylor

Fruit-picking time! Choosing containers for raspberries

The raspberries are ripening! The sun is shining! … and so fruit-picking time begins for 2014!

An assortment of my fruit foraging containers
An assortment of my fruit foraging containers

But before the fruit-picking can begin, the first job is to dig out my old and trusty recycled containers. There are those that I like to take out with me for holding the berries whilst I’m picking. Then there are those that fit together well for storing my fruit in the freezer. My many containers come in useful different shapes and sizes. It seems WordPress must have read my mind this week when choosing “Containers” as the topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge!

I love foraging for wild fruit. We spend many happy Summer hours fruit-picking. We’re lucky as we have a good variety of wild fruits growing nearby to us. For me fruit-picking is such a calming and tranquil activity – a chance to slip away from busyness into my own little world for a short time.

The raspberry canes grow in the tangled undergrowth amongst the stinging nettles and thistles
The raspberry canes grow in the tangled undergrowth amongst the stinging nettles and thistles

The raspberries are the first of our fruits to ripen, so I’m usually picking them by mid to late July. They grow in a rather overgrown but sheltered spot, which is lovely in the warm sun. I get so absorbed in seeking out and picking the fruit that I always end up with more than a few nettle stings when I’m finished! ‘No pain, no gain’ … so the saying goes!

Our first raspberries of 2014
Our first raspberries of 2014 – growing in their quiet, sunny corner.

As raspberries are rather soft and easily squashed, I tend to pick them in small batches. I take a shallow recycled tub to hold the raspberries – I’ve had some of my foraging tubs for years, but they are ideal for this job.

Juicy fresh raspberries for a delicious dessert
Juicy fresh raspberries for a delicious dessert

When I return home, the raspberries are washed and checked over. The berries are either eaten immediately for quick and easy desserts or I put them into a container and place them in the freezer. Sometimes my sons come along to help with the picking, then even more of the berries get eaten immediately! … including before the raspberries actually arrive home, as you might imagine!

Storing raspberries for home freezing
Adding a second batch of raspberries to the container of frozen berries

Over the next few weeks more batches of raspberries will be picked and frozen. As I gradually amass a good quantity of berries in the freezer, we begin watching out for the apples ripening. They also grow close by to us, so we’ve not far to go to keep checking them. … and then it will be time for jam-making to begin!

J Peggy Taylor