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Free food from hedgerows & countryside

(87 Posts)
Zetetic Mon 09-Nov-15 11:13:19

I'd like to start preserving local blackberries in kilner jars for myself and for presents.

What other free food is easy to preserve?

Stratter5 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:59:02

Crab apples
Sloes
Lots of wild plums/damsons round here
Elderflower and berries
Rosehips

Bulrushes are pretty amazing plants too. You can peel and eat the roots, and the soft insides of the stalks. Plus the heads are great for starting fires, and you can make stuff with the leaves.

howtorebuild Mon 09-Nov-15 12:00:15

Mushrooms and roots.

atticusclaw2 Mon 09-Nov-15 12:05:02

Chestnuts. We get loads from the garden and they last us all year for making stuffing for sunday lunch. I just take off the shells and bung in the freezer. they chop easily from frozen.

Be very careful with mushrooms. People have died from eating wild mushrooms that were incorrectly identified.

Rowan berries can be used to make jelly.

howtorebuild Mon 09-Nov-15 12:10:56

nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/grow-your-own-edible-native-plants-for-new-england/

Stratter5 Mon 09-Nov-15 12:40:38

YY I wouldn't touch mushrooms, apart from puffballs, which are so fecking obvious even I will eat them

Zetetic Mon 09-Nov-15 13:43:53

I'll leave the mushrooms as I'd be bound to get it wrong. envy sickness not envy

Thanks for all the other ideas. I will have a look at a couple of storage jars and then experiment.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 14:09:27

I think you're right to eschew mushrooms as you're not an expert. They're enjoyable but arguably not worth the risk of making the wrong choice.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 10-Nov-15 14:41:12

I'm in a different country so will have to prep alone for this one... sad However our spiritual leader Ray Mears swears by pine needles in a tea. Full of vitamins by all accounts.

Stratter5 Tue 10-Nov-15 14:44:20

Like the Moomins going to sleep for the winter on a tummy full of pine needles smile

Do you have cloudberries, MrsT? I shall die of envy if you do.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 10-Nov-15 14:50:36

Why yes we do, Stratters... northernbushcraft.com/guide.php?ctgy=edible_berries®ion=bc The last large patch they found was a ways away from us. No bogs near us grin

ArmchairTraveller Tue 10-Nov-15 14:50:30

I love cloudberry jam. No one else like 'jam with shrapnel' so it's all mine.smile
I've got a number of books, one of my hobbies is historical cookery and that often includes ingredients sourced from the wild.
Mushrooms, no. Not unless you know what you are doing. But you can grow your own, I do.
www.amazon.co.uk/Food-Wild-Ian-Burrows/dp/1780090676/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447166946&sr=1-1&keywords=food+from+the+wild

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 10-Nov-15 14:54:07

I just bought this book, about Haida Gwai for someone's Christmas. Thinking I should buy one for myself.

Stratter5 Tue 10-Nov-15 14:54:56

envy envy envy

I do wish you could grow them, they don't take kindly to cultivation. S'not fair.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 10-Nov-15 14:56:13

You'd need a bog at elevation. Not an easy thing to create in a vegetable garden.

ArmchairTraveller Tue 10-Nov-15 14:57:59

Sounds like a roof garden sort of thing. grin
Although I roamed over Saddleworth moor for years and never found a cloudberry.

Stratter5 Tue 10-Nov-15 14:58:59

I know sad

And I don't think the Wolds count as 'elevation', so I'm stuffed even if I do manage to recreate 'boggy'.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 10-Nov-15 15:00:16

You're on the Wolds? How very Tiffany Aching of you.

Stratter5 Tue 10-Nov-15 15:01:11

They are supposed to grow, very rarely, found here. I have no idea where though, I do look

Stratter5 Tue 10-Nov-15 15:02:40

Wrong Wolds lovely, Lincolnshire Wolds, not quaite as glamorous smile

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 10-Nov-15 15:05:16

That's clearly why you don't deserve cloudberries. On a lighter note, my DUncle was famous for attempting to pass off shots of cloudberry liquor on unsuspecting visitors. Every new BF I had would be warned. It was a rite of passage. He had very good single malts so I think the liquor was a test.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 15:06:00

I have heard much about cloudberries - in particular, cloudberry liquor - but to my sadness have never tried them. Should I make the effort?

Thinking about mushrooms, the last wild ones I collected were pretty fly blown and even blackberries don't always look like the ones you can buy - at vast expense - in the supermarket. It's not bothered me because, like fruit straight from a tree, it goes with the territory and you learn what's OK and what is not on a different basis. However, I imagine that many people are going to have to become accustomed to new shapes and looks from eating more 'natural' produce.

(I'm not even going to get into the subject of only eating fresh what's seasonally available rather than items which are greenhoused/stored in some way/ flown in at massive cost from other countries.)

TheSpottedZebra Tue 10-Nov-15 15:06:35

You can eat BULLRUSHES? Cripes. I never knew that.

TheSpottedZebra Tue 10-Nov-15 15:07:11

Not for preserving, but dandelions are edible, and really nice. Like rocket.

cozietoesie Tue 10-Nov-15 15:08:16

xpost. I'd have tried it MrsTerry - especially if he was a malt man. smile

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