It’s late summer here in Scotland, and in my opinion one of my favourite times of the year to really get stuck into foraging with the family. Some of our foraging favourites we have intentionally hunted for this year, but others we have accidentally stumbled upon on one of wanders or bike rides. To me, foraging is with all the family is a win for everybody, it gets everybody out of the house, away from technology and into nature. We are a competitive family too, so we love to find the challenge and see who can find the most or the biggest thing! I have been foraging since I was a little girl, mainly for brambles but it is such a nostalgic thing for me that I have been keen to make it part of our families routine. We all go out to collect seasonal goods for free, and then we come home and make tasty dishes with them. What could be better? So here you go, I have listed Five Things to Forage with Family in Late Summer. All the fruits listed below should be local to you, but be quick as the weather will be turning shortly to Autumn!
- Blaeberries – Also known as bilberries and are a European version of the blueberry. Small and blue/purple in colour. They are really sweet to eat and are great in jams, scones and pies! You will find them in wooded areas with lots of tree cover. Be warned though, if you are picking them in Scotland there is a high chance tics will be around, so make sure you have a tic card handy! Usually there is an abundance of these but remember to only pick just enough for yourself as they are important to wildlife. If you are hand picking it could take a little while, so patience is key!
- Wild Cherries – These very similar to the cherries we get in the shops but a lot smaller and a lot bit sour eaten raw. Once you put it with sugar however, it really brings out those beautiful cherry flavours and goes amazing in jam better than any shop bought one! You might find these trees in your local park or at the edge of woodlands. These trees are not to be confused with cherry blossoms, they are in fact two completely different trees one produced for it’s beautiful blossoms and the other for fruit. The fruit of the cherry tree is unmistakeble at it’s peak, and can range from yellow-red right to almost black in colour (my favourite!). These cherries can be up quite high so take a tall forager or a little step ladder to grab these little beauties.
- Wild Blackberries – You can always recognise a blackberry as they are unlike any other fruit apart from the raspberry and you can find them in most wooded areas and brambles at the side of the roads and paths. They are black/dark purple and lots of little balls called druplets. They peak in late summer and go into autumn time and they make amazing jam, cordials, galettes and garnishes on desserts. They are bit sour but that is their charm I think, add them with other brambles like raspberries and they are really yummy. They are also a bit prickly, so take gloves for extra protection!
- Wild Raspberries – You may find raspberries pretty close to blackberries or in separated patches, and they can also be quite small. The are pink/light red in colour and covered in little drupelets. They can be a little squishy when picked so be careful when removing from the plant. They are also a little bit prickly so be careful! Raspberries are very sweet and have an amazing flavour and are great in desserts and smoothies.
- Rosehips – Rosehips can be found in hedgerows and woodland areas and there are a dew different varieties. They make great syrups and jellies and are best picked after the first frost. This can be mimicked however by picking them when they are ripe and shoving them in the freezer, it makes them taste better! They are known for being used as itching powder back in the day so perhaps use gloves when picking and learn how to prep them correctly.
If you are unsure about foraging in your area always get advice from an expert forager and abide by local foraging laws.
With love, Zephy x