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Hedgerow Bounty

This year seems one of the best for hedgerow fruit.

We’ve been gorging on wild cherries; as they came to an end the early blackberries ripened. Brambles are loaded with green berries and flowers are still aplenty so I think we’ll have a glut of blackberries.


On a recent walk I found a clump of wild raspberries (above) - Mrs M walked by, thinking they were unripe blackberries and I think others had too leaving me to eat my fill.

I also found a lone red current bush by a forest path, but I was too early as they weren’t yet ripe. Apples an the remnant of an abandoned small orchard are weighing branches to touch the ground, many more than I have on my own carefully pruned trees.

Sloes are abundant but need more time.

So, what have you found your way?

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Lots of cherries! Now finished of course. Was hoping for the odd mushroom, but no luck so far.

I have a crab apple (malus ‘John Downie’) in my garden which is loaded with fruit. This is not yet ripe but it ripens around the same time as the brambles in the countryside hedges in the fields behind my garden. So sometime in August, I’ll be out there picking both fruits to make delicious bramble and crab apple jelly.
I noticed various fungi appearing in the local forest (Epping) but foraging for fungi is now illegal around here as the mushroom population was decimated by industrial foraging of wild mushrooms for London restaurants.

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At this time of year the local forests in our part of west Sweden are carpeted in wild blueberries. They are slightly more tart and perfumed than regular blueberries but delicious in a blueberry pie (blåbärpaj)

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The mass of raspberries between my property and the railway line are looking to produce a good crop this year. My blackberry, loganberry, gooseberry and redcurrant are all looking to produce well this year and, if I can keep the birds off them (they’re not in the fruit cage), I think my plums should do well. I’ve just picked a big crop from my strawberries so jam being made this evening!

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The blackberries have turned early here and are already delicious

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Lots of cherries, raspberries and elderflower (which made a delectable Elderflower fizz!) and gorgeous artichokes from a local community garden (OK, not exactly hedgerow…).

Sadly, our local Mirabelle plum tree (which we call our ‘Alsace tree’) failed miserably this year, though :confused:

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Enjoyed some Fennel flowers as a pre-dinner appetite stimulator. A beautiful summers day in rural Norfolk plus unexpected free food is what hedgerow bounty is all about.

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Has it actually been banned, or is it urban legend that it has?

I ask because I’ve occasionally foraged in Wales with an incredibly knowledgeable guy who (as I recall) says that you can’t as such ‘ban’ foraging (to do with rights to roam and common land or something) and that picking mushrooms doesn’t harm the mushroom population in any way, as the mushroom is the fruit of the organism (much like the blackberries we picked this evening :smiley:) - they are by their very nature ‘designed’ to be eaten to propagate the species.

In fact ISTR he even had his views published in the Times or Telegraph so googled it and here it is:-

I Like your posting . Do you live in Sweden and here? I have a friend who does .

Epping Forest is close to London and as such is particularly vulnerable to over-picking. It is administered by the Corporation of the City of London and the ban on foraging is backed up by local bye laws. There are notices to this effect at entrances to the forest. The forest is also a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). The forest rangers have brought several successful prosecutions in the magistrates’ courts for foraging

I used to pick wild mushrooms, starting on the playing fields of the school at which I then taught. I bought a wonderful book ‘The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe’ by Michael Jordan. This lists 1000 species of fungi, each one shown with a photograph, detailed description, and information on occurrence and fruiting times. Equally important it also lists whether the individual fungi are EDIBLE, INEDIBLE (unpalatable but otherwise harmless), POISONOUS or LETHALLY POISONOUS
Among the fungi I found locally were fairy ring mushrooms (marasmius oreades), wood blewits, shaggy inkcaps, field parasols and giant puffballs. My interest was aroused after having bought some marasmius oreades in Sainsbury’s at an inflated price and then discovering them growing in profusion on the main cricket pitch at school, which was much to the consternation of the groundsman and cricket professional! After that I bought Michael Jordan’s book and started foraging in the countryside of that part of Essex.

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Thanks @BENEDICTNASH Yes, I’m British but living in Gothenburg sine early last year. Foraging is a bit of a Swedish national obsession - lots of wild blueberries as mentioned, but the locals go crazy for Chantarelle mushrooms.

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I am absolutely no expert on fungi but I was under the impression that the fruiting body (that we pick and eat) does not propagate by being eaten but rather by releasing it’s spores into the air which are then carried away by wind or water. My understanding is that picking the ‘fruit’ you are very unlikely to damage the mycelium but you will prevent that ‘fruit’ from propagating.

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When I was out for a ride yesterday I saw a few people picking bramble berries so I’ll be taking a box out today to collect enough for a couple of crumbles.

The cherry tree opposite where I live has been productive too. I had some of the fruit from the lower branches but the birds take most of it. As evidenced by the red poop splatters on my car throughout June !

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There’s great promise, but not many ripe blackberries yet. Some bushes have yet to ripen a single one, they’re small tight and green, and others are still covered in flowers.

2 crumbles may be one too many!

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Neither raspberries or blackberries ready here yet. My loganberries and the wild raspberries are just beginning to form hard green berries. My Blackberries are still very much just flowering and probably only 20% of the flowers have opened so far. Redcurrants are just beginning to turn red. Strawberries are in full flow though - made jam over the weekend.

Okay all bar the raspberries are not strictly hedgerow bounty!

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Thanks for the tip, I only saw people picking fruit, not the berries themselves, so I’ll taste test for ripeness first ( should I find any that look good to go ).

That makes two of us!

As explained to me, mushrooms have an inordinate number of spores by which they ‘reproduce’ (discussing fungi seem to get a bit mental at this point, they don’t seem to quite fit the rules of either animals or plants), and the simple act of picking them sheds millions of spores, and indeed wherever the mushroom then goes sheds millions more. Again, I have no personal expertise, but if I recall it correctly, thats how the the guy in the link I’ve posted (Daniel Butler) dumbed down the explanation for me.

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Yes, most still unripe, but 2 ripe berries found at Petworth earlier today.

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