On Sunday, we headed over the border to France to a local animal shelter. Often we take a dog from there and walk it in the countryside. It gives us the joy of toddling along with a doggy, as well as a chance to explore an area we wouldn’t otherwise visit.
Previously, when walking in the area, we’d noticed that there were quite a lot of brambles and a plum tree. Now, as August is on the way out, we thought it was best to head back and retrace our steps.
Foraging is not at the mercy of the 3-second rule, it’s like the anti-3-second rule. In fact, it is just a posh way of saying “I found this on the floor, and I’m still going to eat it”. And the best thing about it is that the food is free. Switzerland is well pricey, so I’m always looking for a bargain…
Anyway, this weekend we gathered plums and blackberries from the brambles. We had to employ the technique of ‘throw a stick at the plums and wait for the thuds’ because the fruit was well out of reach. However, the berries were so plentiful and easy to reach we shall probably head back this weekend to gather more.
But with that said, the beauty of foraging is that you always end up with a whole heap of things you didn’t expect. We found crab apples, eating and cooking apples, a pear tree, and a ton of hazelnuts. We gathered windfalls, as well as fruit fresh from the tree, and then came home and cooked everything up in a crumble – from the field to fork in less than an hour!
Foraging is easy, and everyone should give it a try. It allows you a chance to eat varieties and fruit that you wouldn’t normally get in the shops, it connects you to nature, and it gets you out in the fresh air.
Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from adventuring out into the wild. Arm yourself with a couple of field guides or a knowledgable friend, and go find some free food. And then turn it into a dessert or a liqueur for a win-win situation!