Celebrating Autumn

‘Autumn is a second spring… where every leaf is a flower ‘

Perfect title. Funny that today I passed a shop with this quote printed on the window – just as I was taking a tea-break from finishing this blog post. The world does work in strange ways sometimes… Actually I took these photos and wrote a big chunk of this last month but forgot about it totally! So I’m a little late posting, but fear not as some of these Autumn wild foods can still be found in November/December.

I’ve said this before, but Autumn is one of my favourite times of year. As sun’s fire tones down, the light settles into a soft glow and well… everything starts to wind down and transform. There’s a last flourish of activity in the natural world as all (plants and animals) prepare for the coming winter. I’ve already mentioned another Autumn guest, the Chestnut in my last post… but fruit are focus today. As the golden leaves fall away, they also let the last of the hedgerow jewels take centre stage: Rosehips, Hawthorne Berries, Sea Buckthorne, Sloes, Guelder Rose berries & the last of the Crab Apples… all October regulars here in temperate Britain.

The autumn harvest begins…

I thought in this next series of blogs I would introduce you to a few of these wild indigenous fruits, which sadly we seem to have left by the wayside in favour of convenient supermarket fare. This is such a shame as their wild cousins have so much to offer. Yes it takes effort to collect them but hopefully after reading this you too will see that they are well worth the work. Besides, what better a way to spend an Autumn’s day outdoors, celebrating this ‘Season of Plenty’ – especially if you end it with a trip to the pub & cosy up by the fire 🙂 They are only temporary annual visitors so make the most of them whilst they are still here. It is late in the season but many of them (sloes, rosehips) are actually better at this point as the first frosts soften and sweeten them.

With wild fruit in general, the important thing to remember is to collect no more than 1/3rd of the bounty from a tree/shrub. Why? Because our wild animal/bird/insect friends rely on these fruit throughout the winter for survival food! Leave a few for them, there are plenty to go around 🙂

Where to begin when there is so much to share? Well… right now I’ll go by what jumps out at me. Rosehips in particular stand out the most, like red jewels in the countryside. So in the next post, I’ll be celebrating this well loved native, sharing a few of the health benefits along with a few recipes. Some naughty some nice.

Check back later x

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