Forager’s harvest.

I love recycling and getting something for next to nothing. Most of my quilt is from cut up clothes, odds and ends donated from mum and Bluebell, cut up clothes from the 50p rail at the charity shop and offcuts that I bought cheaply at Totnes market and Trago.

In keeping with the getting something for nothing. I love the abundance of fruit around at the moment. As I walk past gardens I keep noticing apple tree with boughs heavily laden with fruit and the blackberries are the biggest and sweetest I’ve had in years. I take a bag when ever I go out with the dogs and come back with at least half a kilo each time. I now have two kilos in the freezer and I’m about ready to start making jelly. I also kept the pulp from the crab apples, rather like olives (with the first pressing giving us the extra virgin olive oil) the crab apple pulp will give more juice and pectin when I stew them with the blackberries. It also bulks it out and gives it that wonderful Bramble jelly quality.
I’ve had my eye on a damson tree since it first blossomed and I returned today to strip as many as I could reach from the lower branches. Don’t worry about taking them before they are entirely ripe, just like the plums in the supermarket that are like rocks when you buy them, they will ripen at home. I also pick them early as I want to get them before anyone else does or before they ripen and just fall off the branched.
They make the most wonderful jam, and great with toast for breakfast, also lovely in a sponge cake or even as a topping to a cheese cake. I will of course blog my jam making endeavours. Some years it’s good and some years not so! We’ll wait and see.
We also headed to Argos car park today and up the road that leads to the Callington turning. I was too late for the blackberries but well in time for the sloes. I also make jam from these. It is a really tart jam, not unlike blackcurrant and again, good with ice cream, in a chocolate cake (yes you heard right) or again, on top of a cheese cake. It’s good with poultry or lamb. You don’t get much and it’s almost impossible to skim all of the stones out, but it is really lovely.


10 thoughts on “Forager’s harvest.

  1. Everyone's doing so well with their crops at the moment – if only I had planted stuff when I was SUPPOSED to! (even if you did 'find' them!)

    I love damson jam on toast – such a nice way to start the morning.

    Looking good!



  2. We have a doggy who has come to live with us now, and whilst out along the canal with him we picked some blackberries, when we got home my henny pennys were looking all sad and jealous of the four legged friend and so I gave all the blackberry bounty to them! What a sucker I am eh?! Finn did grumble all the way home that he wasn't going to eat anything I made with them…even though he loved the blackcurrant jam I made…surprising what a label saying STRAWBERRY in huge writing can do for the lad eh???!!! Oh Mummy you trickster! x

    p.s. Damson jam is my ultimate FAV!


  3. if you have the space in your freezer, its great to keep the blackberries for future use in pies, or I love them in smoothies. also plum or apple compote (stewed!) is great freezer fodder, and lovely with all sorts of things, like porridge or in crumble or whatever. xxx


  4. Sloe jam has to be worth a try – I've only ever made sloe gin before 🙂 – and the gin gets expensive! We've loads of the little wild alpine strawberries growing in the garden – they spread like wildfire and we had a bumper crop this year. A friend suggested they make a great flavouring for vodka.

    We're in Scotland so the apples aren't ripe yet but we know a place where crab apples grow all along the road, all different varieties from marble sized red ones to bright green ones almost the size of normal apples.


  5. We've let a lot of our garden remain wild and I'm out there every day impatiently awaiting the ripening of our blackberry crop. Nothing beats them stewed with cooking apples with a huge dollop of natural yogurt, yummy! xxx


  6. Just surfed in & spent an hour reading backwards …what a great blog…laughed myself silly over the exploits of the tree cutting guys!! good luck with your quilt…I have been on a no buy (well mostly)fabric diet this year as I have been saving madly for my UK trip in Sept I must admit that I have come up with some different(for me ) quilts using only what I had in my stash made me think outside the rather narrow box I was in…I will be back for your next installment !


  7. It's worth remembering the nuts are just starting to come into season as well.

    More than anything we've probably 'forgotten' about these growing in this country.

    We have several hazel bushes marked, a cob nut and yesterday we discovered a Lime tree (common lime not the citrus one) and discovered that Linden nuts can be used in all sorts but apparently make a really nice chocolate/coffee.

    I have been amazed how many brambles are past their prime already! Falling to pieces when you try and pick them.


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