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Rob Stevens

I've just bottled up my first attempt at home brewed blackberry and elderberry wine from wild berries, which I'm hiding from myself in the garage for a few months before I try it. I've also just opened a jar of the spicy apple chutney that I made in the autumn from the windfall apples in my garden and it's fantastic. Very pleased with it.

Has anyone else been up to anything similar? Any interesting results/tips/recipes?

janerowena

We have been eating wild hop tips from the garden hedges for the past few days - a bit like baby asparagus. The hops are everywhere around here in the woods, and are real pests - it's self-preservation to eat them, as the roots run for miles, like groundelder.

Emma Crawforth

Hello foragers,

This thread is right up my street as this weekend I made and ate a risotto with nettle tops, wild garlic leaves and hop shoots. I found it in the April edition of Good Food Magazine. Delicious!

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

janerowena

I dry lots of the nettle tips at this time of year, to make nettle tea throughout the winter. Or soup, or anything really - you can add it to pasta sauces, fish pie - as you would use parsley.

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I made nettle soup last year and thoroughly enjoyed it but my wife did not enjoy the furry back taste. I think I will give nettle tea a go though.  Looking forward to Elder flower time. I have made cordial for the last two years and last year made elder champagne which was divine but I had a problem with bottles blowing their tops.

If anyone has any advice on the best bottles I would appreciate it.

Hi janerowena

How have you prepared your hop tips?

Emma Crawforth

Hello burhinus,

I agree with you about the 'furry back taste' with nettles. I do think it would put some people off, but try to ignore it myself! The smell of them is lovely though - just like spinach.They're both supposed to contain a lot of iron so I suppose that's why they smell similar.

Emma

gardenersworld.com team

janerowena

Just pick as far back as you can snap off, so that it isn't woody, then boil for only one minute or saute in oil or butter - garlic added at will! We had the last lot with the flower buds from kale and purple sprouting broccoli, stuff that most people would discard.

I don't like the furry back taste of nettles either, which is why I dry mine and tend to use it out of season, although fresh, as a tea, it is very nice once strained.

Thanks for the tips with nettles and hop tips. I know a hedge with lots of wild hops so will be giving them a go very soon.

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