London (change)
11 messages
17/04/2012 at 14:08

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?

17/04/2012 at 14:34

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.

    17/04/2012 at 17:53

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 team

17/04/2012 at 18:28

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.

17/04/2012 at 18:33

I make cider from my apples - between 5 and 20 gallons each year depending on cropping. Images from last year's batch here if the link works

I also forage for mushrooms locally and in the garden, found Wood Blewitts in the garden for the first time last Autumn.

17/04/2012 at 22:12

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.

17/04/2012 at 22:18

Hi janerowena

How have you prepared your hop tips?

    18/04/2012 at 09:16

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 team

18/04/2012 at 14:42

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.

18/04/2012 at 20:57

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.

19/04/2012 at 11:39
steephill wrote (see)

I make cider from my apples - between 5 and 20 gallons each year depending on cropping. Images from last year's batch here if the link works

That's an impressively industrial looking setup!

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