September 2019 – Foraging season

As you’ve seen with our allotment we’re huge fans of providing for ourselves where we can. This years growing in the allotment has been slow going as we get the soil in a position to grow well and so this is a year more than any that we will be depending on what we can forage. Thankfully the canals of the UK are fantastic places for foraging and September is a great time to really stock up for food for the winter.

Tebay helping hunt down blackberries

First and foremost on our mind in the UK is the sheer abundance of blackberries which are up and down the towpaths. This years crop was a bumper one at that! Every morning we would simply pop out of the boat and walk for a few hundred metres picking off all of the blackberries we’d need for our breakfast with either porridge or with yogurt. However that’s not going to keep us going for the winter and so we collected around 10kg of berries and set about preserving them by making jams, jellies, compots and most importantly, flavoured alcohol. All in all we have enough blackberry flavoured produce to keep us going well into the new year and keep us well watered until next years harvest.

We found some bigguns

Thankfully for our livers it’s not just blackberries that the UK has in abundance, mushrooms were afoot this month and spells of rain and sunshine meant that we had the perfect weather for some huge ones. Thankfully for me, Olivia is an experienced mushroom forager who is also exceptionally cautious with what we collect. While it means we don’t pick all the ones I seem to find, it does mean all the ones we pick are edible! Despite her cautiousness we picked an dried enough mushrooms to last us 6 months at least; a handful of dried mushrooms in stews, soups, casseroles and chillis imparts a tonne of flavour and rehydrates to make some lovely plump mushrooms.

Add to that the apples, elderberries, figs, pears and cherries we picked, processed and stored, we have plenty to keep us going through the winter and to supplement the root vegetables we are due to harvest over the coming months from our allotment.

There won’t be mushroom on the boat with these big ones onboard