Friday, 21 September 2012

The Berries are Upon Us!

I'm no forager, but I wish I was.

Unfortunately, I think I would be the sort of forager who manages to pick some juicy Deadly Nightshade in Newark, where none has ever been seen before; or stumble upon Britain's only example of the death-within-two-hours-causing False Blackberry.

Incidentally, the only place I can ever remember coming across Deadly Nightshade was on a school trip to Bradgate Park in 1983. I think it was a sharp metal axe thing that Lady Jane Grey found a greater hazard back in the day. But I digress.

This time of year, the Haws, the Hips, The Edlerberries and The Blackberries are all out in large numbers in my usual running haunts. I wish I could collect big bags of them, along the cycle path, in Willow Holt, up on Beacon Hill Reserve. A dear friend told me of all the things you could do with them, jams, wines, preserves and heaven knows what.

If I collected them, I wouldn't know what to do. It would be a sad waste. Red and black berries mushing in a plastic bag, a tupperware sandwich box if they were really lucky. How I wish I knew what to do with things; how I wish if I went looking for mushrooms I would end up not poisoning myself!

But I'm sure you folk can. The weather is colder, the wind is blowing. But it is still great, and free out there. Go take a look.

And if you do make any Elderberry wine, save me a bottle.

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