Elder Trees and Blackberries

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When we have one of those unusual sunny days, in  amongst the showers, I  try to take my camera with me and photograph the local flora and fauna.  This May I'm finding everything is just a little late! But at long last there are signs of growth and with that greening of the countryside come dreams of foraging. Most people have access to some open land, and where there is any benign neglect, you are likely to find Elder trees and Blackberries.  There are signs of both on Ham Lands, a semi wild, water meadow and woodland, near my home, where I regularly walk my dog.

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We finished the last of the Elderflower Cordial in April, and I'm waiting with eager anticipation to make more within the next month. There are so many versions of Elderflower Cordial  but it's worth seeking out a really super one, like Sarah Raven's.  Once you've made your own cordial you'll never want to buy it again.

I tend to make several batches, one for immediate consumption and two or three for the freezer, (pop the cordial in a plastic bottle, and  there it will be in the  middle of winter when you feel that much needed desire of  a taste of summer.) I am delighted that the first few Elderflowers are beginning to appear, just another week or so and I should be able to get started on  those first few bottles of Cordial.

When I gather the Elderflowers, I ensure that I don't strip the tree, if I did there would then be no Elder berries for the autumn, and I want to be able to pick some berries, as they are fabulous in a homemade jelly. In the Autumn I'll also be picking Blackberries, and maybe some crab apples, isn't it wonderful that the two plants so often grow happily together?

Apple trees growing near blackberry bushes   Wild apples and blackberries

It's super  to walk the dog and dream about foraging and cooking wild food.

Do you ever forage? What do you gather on your walks?

Thanks for reading,

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