We are on a “No Spend” month in our house which means we’re trying not to make impulse purchases or spend on stuff that’s not essential. So today I took the Monsters on a foraging expedition; free and fun.


The Autumn berries seem to be amazing this year. I wish I had more skills to identify them and use the edible ones. Having said that, most of them would be very time consuming to harvest and are therefore probably best left to the wildlife. Apparently you can turn Rowan berries into wine and Hawthorn berries seem to have loads of benefits. I think I’d probably want to do some more research or go on a course before I launch into too many foraged berries.


Just down the lane from us is an apple tree that truly facinates me. It’s been abused by the hedge cutter over the years and looks like an ancient tree (aparently it’s perhaps 70 years old at best – I have asked around). It always seems to fruit well. The apples are really odd; all angular and awkward looking. They’re akin to the old Cat’s Head and Dog Snout apples, but not quite. I had a lengthly email conversation with an expert about it two years ago. He’d never seen anything like it. When you cut the apples open they have quite a large void inside and no pips! I can only guess it’s one of the entirely unique trees that comes about as a result of cross-polination.

Collecting windfalls

Because it gets a vicious hedge style pruning every spring all the apples grow high up so Toddler-Monster and I collect decent windfalls. The fruit seem best suited to cooking and will keep until after Christmas if stored carefully.

On the way home we collected Elderberries. All I’ve managed to do is wash them and put them in the freezer, but I did chuck a few in the apple crumble. I’m hoping to use them for in some way and there are lots of ideas here.

We’ve still got to do blackberries and I’ve recently learned you can wash you hair with conkers – that has to be tried!

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