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My first foraging attempt

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:43 pm
by Kezz
Hi all, :wave:

I've been out today on my first ever foraging walk. I was hoping you could help me identify some of the berries I didn't know.

Firstly, I went out to look for sloes or damsons, and rose hips. I'm not sure if I'm too early for picking rose hips or not :dontknow:
Here's what I think I found:

Rose hips:

I think these are two different varieties:
ImageImage

Managed to pick 225g of each kind. If they're both suitable for rose hip syrup can I use them both together or do you stick to one variety per batch?

Sloes:

I hadn't realised they are so tiny. I bit the end of one and it tasted grape-ish :dontknow: My dog liked them, she was eating all the ones she could reach straight off the branches :roll:

Image

I managed to pick exactly 1lb of these, so I'm going to get some gin and try to make sloe gin :drunken:

Image

Now the rest is pics of stuff I didn't know the names of and therefore didn't pick or taste! I'm assuming some or all of these are non-edible?

Number 1:

Really luminous red berries on a tree: Image

Number 2:

Groups of small berries that were mostly withered and dark on a bush, some were still red though: ImageImage

Number 3:

Another red berry, another tree: Image

Any ideas?

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:14 pm
by jannie
Hi, well done on the foraging. I am fairly new to this as well and I also went out and picked sloes for the first time today, they look like the same ones I picked. I dont really much about the rosehips.
The last red berry in the pictures looks like hawthorn. They are edible but dont taste of much, you can make fruit leathers with them. I havent gathered enough to try this yet. I think the other red berry is poisonous but cant be sure. I've never seen the other berry.

Sorry I cant be of much help, I'm sure someone who knows a bit more will be along soon.

Jannie

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:37 pm
by Kezz
Cheers jannie, I haven't got a guide book to refer to at the mo, so I was working on the assumption that red is usually bad lol. I'll go google hawthorn now....

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:53 pm
by MClan
Hi

I think the sloes may actually be damsons.

As far as rosehips go I think you can treat it like apple varieties and I hear they are better after the first frost.

I also think the last one is hawthorn

Karen

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:40 pm
by oldjerry
The rosehips are both ok for syrup butthe small ones are better thats rosa canina (common dog rose) and native ,I think the other is rosa arvensis a hedging rose used a lot in gardens in the 70s and seems to have spread wild cant remember if its native .Second picture,look large for sloes but too thorny for damson could be bullaces but do the gin thing anyhow.
Luminous berries look like Geulder rose (viburnum lantana) native,no idea what yhou do with them,but someone will know,
Dark seedy things look like some sort of viburnum .
Final picture,hawthorn berries(cretaegus monygyna) I don't do anything with them,but I bet theres someone who does........

A great first forage.

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:44 am
by Millymollymandy
The 'sloes' are damsons and you could make nice jam or chutney from them then go out and find some sloes elsewhere for your gin later on.

First red berry looks like Virburnum Opulus, there's been a discussion about that just recently and I'll try to find the thread for you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_opulus

2nd one looks like a kind of Viburnum too. 3rd definitely Hawthorn.

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:48 am
by Millymollymandy
The thread about Viburnum Opulus is here
http://www.selfsufficientish.com/forum/ ... 19&t=20332

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:00 am
by oldjerry
Apologies for the confusion,def. v opulus .A nice foraging guide is Food for Free by Richard Mabey , worth looking out for second hand.

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:07 am
by Kezz
Thank you everyone :)

What makes you think they're damsons rather than sloes? Is it usually so hard to tell the difference?

I've got "food for free" reserved at the library :)

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:41 am
by AngeB
I think they look like sloes, I thought damsons were larger and shaped like mini plums, rather than perfectly round?

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:18 am
by AngeB
Damsons
Damsons
damson_farleigh_prolific.jpg (68.42 KiB) Viewed 3167 times
I was trying to insert a picture of some damsons but no idea how to do it! Oh, I think it worked! Yay!

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:33 am
by oldjerry
I reckon they're sloes or bullaces mainly because of what look like some pretty vicious looking thorns.Mind you I keep mixing up Viburnums,and I used to lay hedges for a living,so best ignore .

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:02 am
by Millymollymandy
Damsons are round, blue black and tiny and they look identical to my damson tree. You would never in a million years say that sloes tasted like grapes so that is the clue. :lol: I doubt your dog would have eaten more than one either! Really, it is impossible to actually eat any sloe because as soon as you taste the teensiest bit your mouth puckers up with the bitterness and you'd spit it out and look for the nearest water to wash your mouth out with! :iconbiggrin:

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:24 am
by AngeB
I'm so confused now about which one is which. However, I can safely say that both damsons and sloes make vodka extra tasty :drunken:

Re: My first foraging attempt

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:50 am
by oldjerry
Don't be confused! there are at least adozen varieties of damson round here,and they vary from roundish to elliptical,some are fairly sour,some are almost as sweet as a Victoria, the trees can still be bought as cooking and dessert varieties (or at least they could be a couple of years ago).As a rule,the old nusurymen would breed out the thorns that were part of their Blackthorn heritage simply to make them easier to pick,However the one that most nursuries stock,merryweather, sometimes grows the odd thorn.