The fruit season is my favourite time of year. Low sunlight, amazing sunsets, and trees and shrubs loaded with fruit ready to be picked. I love it. I’ve done nothing to cultivate them, but they still produce. Last year I was a bit late, and pickings were sparse…
This year, I think the combination of a hard winter, a hot April, lots of rain at the end of spring and a good mix of weather through the summer means there were loads of flowers, and therefore, there’s now loads of fruit.
This afternoon I went wandering to see if I could forage for anything other than blackberries. Specifically, I’d heard a rumour that there are Mirabelles on Wandsworth Common…
I didn’t find Mirabelles, but I did come home with half a kilo of blackberries (it’s almost rude NOT to pick them when there’s so many), sloes for sloe gin, rosehips for rosehip syrup, a smattering of elderberries, and a red thing that I thought might be redcurrant but have since discovered is a not very nice, although edible berry called Guelder Rose.
I also filled a bag with apples from one tree that was basically groaning under the weight, and found three plum trees. I’ll need stepladders if I want to get any fruit from those.
All in one afternoon. The bookshop round the corner from me sold me an old copy of a Pelican guide to British herbs, so I’m fairly confident that once I’ve read it, I can find some nice salad-y rocket and watercress to go with my home grown tomatoes.
And in a book that MC gave me, I’ve read Hawthorn berries are good for circulation, particularly for people with Raynaud’s (which I have in winter). There’s LOADS of them out, so I’m going to fill a tub with them too.
It’s all free, but I think I’m going to be busy for a few nights!
I plan to head out again, maybe with ladders for the plums, and also to find out if there are wild raspberries on Tooting Common. That’s the word anyway.