Down the Lane - Frugal Living - Natures Free Gifts - Wild Berries
Foraging for Fruit Berries
Fruit for Crumbles, Jams and more - they're there for free!
The Blackberry - the easiest fruit to find
The blackberry must be just about the most picked wild fruit in the country.
For some reason, even kids like doing it !
Never far away from you either around wasteland or roadsides, there's ample to share with the Birds and other insects.
Harvest August / September. Don't pick after 1st.October though - the old wives tale is that 'Old Nick' gets to them then !
The leaves are used for Tea and are supposed to be good for diarrhoea, enteritis. You can also use the roots.
Great for Crumbles, Pies and Jam, especially mixed with it's partner, the Apple. Or of course, eat raw to get the best out the vitamin C and E.
The Elderberry seems to like hanging around with Blackberries, so you can make good of your time and pick both !
A lot of people overlook this fruit thinking it's for wine making only and this is bore out by it once being called the Englishmans Grape. Eaten raw though, it can cause bad nausea.
The Berries can be used as a herbal liquid.
Elderberry is also used as an application for infections and swelling, also as a wash for the skin for complexion and purification
They go well with apples to make a fine jam (see Apples page).
It is important to note that only the fruits are OK to eat. The leaves and woody parts will do you know good whatsoever.
A very overlooked wild plant and maybe the reason is that they are very small and often hidden away amongst other Spring weeds and grasses.
It is interesting to note that some Supermarkets are now selling them.
We pulled some up once and put them in the Greenhouse. Every year we get some. Although half the size of 'ordinary' strawberries, the flavour is just as good and can be eaten there and then.
Look for them in Spring, mainly in woodland with a sunny edge to it.
Rubbing a squashed one onto the skin is supposed to help with sunburn. Containing salicylic acid it is said to be beneficial with liver and kidney complaints
A Bramble that forms a natural arch is a great aid to magical healing.
3 pounds elderberries
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 box low-sugar pectin
5 cups sugar
Wash and pick over berries and place in saucepan. Cook over low heat until juice begins. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain liquid through jelly bag or double layer of cheesecloth and let drip overnight. Measure juice and add water, if necessary, to make 3 cups. Add lemon juice and pectin and bring to boil. Add sugar and boil for one minute. Pour into sterilized jars and cap with canning leads or seal with pectin. Jars sealed with canning lids may be processed for 5 minutes in boiling water bath, if desired.
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Nature's Free Gifts
There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.