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Tagged with 'foraging'

How to Make Sloe Gin | Homemade Recipe

The sloe season usually begins in October; however, in particularly wet weather, the berries can be ripe enough to harvest as early as September. This is excellent news for gin lovers, as you can get a head start on making your own sloe gin this season. If you’d like to have a shot at making this warming autumn beverage, our guide is sure to help you get the best from your sloes, from picking tips right up to flavouring your very own spirit!

Some homemade sloe gin in cocktail glasses with ice

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What to look for in your Autumn foraging adventures

September is a great time to go foraging, while the weather is still mild and the trees still fruitful. It is important to expand your knowledge on foraging to ensure that everything you collect is safe and sustainable. Here are eight of the best things that you will find this month: blackberries to be found whilst foraging this Autumn
  1. Rosehips
A member of the apple family, the best place to forage for rosehips are in areas with hedgerows and rough grass. Their distinctive pink or white flowers are paired with sumptuous deep orange fruits which are usually oblong shaped. These are often made into sweet syrups, perfect for the autumn months.
  1. Elderberries
Elderberries make a wonderful addition to fruit pies, or jams and can be found in both woodlands and hedgerows. The berries are quite small, with a deep purple colouring and tend to grow in small clusters along with small, toothed, green leaves.
  1. Wild Strawberries
Wild strawberries can often be hard to find, but are certainly worth their sweet rewards at the end of a hunt. The ruby red berries are usually found low to the ground, in open woodland. These taste best eaten directly from the plant, they may seem small, but are packed with juicy flavour and sweetness.
  1. Blackberries
Blackberries are an absolute foraging classic, and are usually easy to find in an abundance. Just be sure that you are careful when picking these gleaming treats as the bushes can be very prickly. They pair perfectly with many other foraging finds, and make wonderful jams, pies and crumbles. Or why not try infusing these dark berries with some gin ready for the festive season?
  1. Beech nuts
With a similar taste to a walnut, beech nuts generally grow in fours, on an easily recognisable tree that can be up to 40m height! The bright green leaves illuminate the woodlands with their prickly brown husks contrasting against the vibrant colours. You can blend these into nut butters, or toast them to enjoy with a salad!
  1. Raspberries
Although September is the very end of the raspberry season, there is still hope that you will be fruitful in your findings. Another fruit that is great enjoyed directly from the bus, raspberries are much less prickly than blackberries and offer an overall more pleasant experience. In September, those of you lucky enough to find these tangy treats should revel in your treasures and enjoy them straight away, particularly as it is unlikely that you will harvest enough to make any other products.
  1. Hazelnut
As you see the leaves turn yellow, this is the time to harvest a hazelnut. Generally, woodland is the best place to search for these rich nuts, and once you do spot a tree, give it a gentle shake and watch the nuts fall in a sparse shower around you. The nuts themselves are hidden in a green, leafy cup for safety and camouflage.
  1. Poppies
The beautiful colour of a poppy makes for an easy find; you will know then they are ready to pick by the change of colour to a grey-brown tone. To get the best from these flowers, you should pop them into a paper bag and give them a little shake, this releases the seeds which can then be used in many baking recipes from cakes to breads. Whilst on your foraging missions you must be careful not to disrupt the local wildlife and hurt yourself on the prickly bushes that surround, so prepare yourself for the outdoors with our men’s and women’s country clothing.