Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Welwyn Garden City and the Art of Foraging: Blackberries in Sherrards Park Woods

Since I was a kid, I’ve loved scavenging. My mum used to despair of the stuff I’d pull out of skips and bring home. That also extended to blackberry-picking and (more illicitly) scrumping apples. Oh, the lure of free things!

Nowadays, most people seem to have lost the art of foraging. Emily, the kids and I went for a walk through the woods yesterday, along a path lined by brambles. The path is a popular haunt for walkers, so I was amazed to find the blackberry bushes were still full of ripe fruit. Free food! Being ignored! It’s crazy…

The family collected a good haul of the delicious morsels. I made a rather nice blackberry crumble that evening. Thank you to everyone else for ignoring them!


Contrast this with Brittany, where we recently went for a break. Every beach was full of French families ‘foot fishing’ – carrying little picks, trowels and baskets, looking for mussels, cockles and other fruits de mer.

Maybe as the UK sinks further in recession, the art of foraging will see a revival?

The woodland path and the bridge where kids obviously hang out at night.

2 comments:

Steve said...

Such a national revival must be led by the great man himself - Ray Mears.

Ruth said...

I'm kind of hoping not, given that I've just discovered a lovely, laden walnut tree slap bang in the centre of London, which no-one else seems interested in...