There is something surprisingly very satisfying about foraging the fields and hedgerows of the British countryside. It is an activity that requires you to be in step with the seasons, on foot, curious and creative. Since moving here, we have been slowly building our own foraging map of our location in the Eden Valley. Our map identifies what grows, where it grows and when it is ready to harvest. This knowledge gathered at no expense whatsoever, we happily share with anyone who has an interest. Since being here we have collected, crab apples, blackberries, sloes, elderflowers, elderberries, cob nuts, and chestnuts.
Blackthorn is common in the hedgerows of Cumbria and produces sloes in late autumn
There are also edible fungi around, but we are cautious, due to concerns of incorrect identification. As the instructor on a fungi identification course put it “You can eat all varieties of fungi but some only once.” The table below shows what we collect and when it is available. We can tell you where various things grow when you come and visit. I enjoy running and will often to survey the local hedgerows for foraging potential as I run.
We are discovering ever more interesting and enjoyable ways of using nature’s produce. We have much to learn but since moving we have made the following:
From Elderflowers – Cordial, infused gins, jams
From Elderberries – Infused gins, jellies, balsamic vinegars
From Blackberries – Jams, jellies, pies, crumbles, balsamic vinegar
Blackberry vinegar, rum infusions, gin infusions
From Sloes – Sloe gin
From Crab apples – Jellies
As well as enjoying the fruits of our labor ourselves we have also enjoyed giving foraged gifts to our family and friends. We have recently done some hedge planting behind each of our three glamping pods and have selected native species blackthorn with a dash of field maple, hazel, wild cherry and hawthorn so in time we hope to see sloes, cherries, and cobnuts on-site at Eden Valley Glamping.