Guide to Sustainable Foraging | What to Look For in September

September 06, 2021

Guide to Sustainable Foraging | What to Look For in September

Header image by @wildberriesandfables on Instagram featuring one of our baskets. Shop similar Ghanaian Bolga Baskets here.

 

We love our food here at Artisans & Adventurers, and there is nothing better than eating produce you have grown or picked yourself. That's why we've recently enjoyed foraging! Whilst foraging can seem daunting at first, with a few simple tips you can be sure you will find some delicious wild treats safely and sustainably. We've put together our top tips that have helped us, along with some of the seasonal delights to look out for this month... 

 

 

Leave no trace

A really important part about foraging is preserving our natural environment so that others can enjoy it. When you are out foraging, be sure to stick to paths as far as possible and never trample or destroy other plants in order to get to the item you want to pick. Uprooting plants is damaging to the environment, so take care when picking leaves and berries so as not to disturb the rest of the plant. You should also never take more than you plan to consume, for the sake of the environment, wildlife and for other foragers. 

 

Get permission 

Wherever you are planning to forage, make sure you are acting lawfully. Private property is generally off-limits unless you have express permission from the land owner. Many of the Woodland Trust sites allow foraging for personal use only, but you should always check before you start picking. If you are not allowed to forage somewhere, it is usually for good reason. These will likely be areas of conservation, habitats for rare or vulnerable species or where there are problems with over-picking. 

 

Know what you're picking 

Never consume a wild plant or fungus unless you are absolutely certain of its identification. It could be rare and protected, inedible or even deadly poisonous. Use reference books to identify them. Fungi can be notoriously difficult to identify, so if you're unsure it's best to leave alone.

 

 

September highlights 

Early autumn is the best time to enjoy foraging. It's when hedgerows and trees are full of ripening fruits and nuts and you are sure to find lots of delicious treats! Here's what to look out for: 

        • Beech Nuts - Each beech tree produces a crop of nuts, also known as beech masts, every 4-5 years. They can be used in a similar way to pine nuts. Just be sure not to consume them in large quantities.
        • Hawthorn Berries -  These are round fruits that look somewhat similar to an apple. They can be enjoyed in jams, jellies, vinegar or ketchups when cooked up. 
        • Blackthorn Berries - The blackthorn is best known for its crop of tart, acidic fruits used to make the deep-red wintry drink, sloe gin. Perfect for making your own alcohol at home!
        • Wild Raspberries - These delicious berries are surprisingly widespread in the UK. Wild raspberries tend to have a sharper taste than shop bought. These are best enjoyed straight away.

 

Happy Foraging! 



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