Tag: rubus fruticosus

Getting Jammy with Blackberries

Getting Jammy with Blackberries

Ahhh, blackberries (rubus fruticosus), our native super fruit, so full of flavour, fibre, vitamin C and K. Pretty much everyone knows blackberries, actually it is blackberries that makes many people a forager, yes, if you’ve picked and eaten wild blackberries you are a forager! I…

Still got Blackberries in the freezer? Try this!

Still got Blackberries in the freezer? Try this!

I am so excited because I just found a bag of blackberries at the back of my freezer. I thought I’d used them all, though no! I haven’t. These will be perfect for making a yummy dessert, and it is party food time of year,…

A Forager’s Dog – Paddy foraging Blackberries

A Forager’s Dog – Paddy foraging Blackberries

 

I have a foraging dog. He’s called Paddy McGinity (a name I inherited rather than gifted to him), and yes, he can climb rocks and cliffs as agile as a goat.

Most of the time my dog is with me on forays, while I forage and teach up to 100 different species of wilds in the UK. Often, he’s doing his own thing (chasing rabbits and exploring), though sometimes he hangs around and is inquisitive.

I’ve watched him ‘watch and learn’ to forage blackberries, rosehips, acorns and he’s good at apple scrumping. Seaweeds aren’t so popular with him, expect Kelp stems and fish, crab and rabbit are favourites, naturally.

Actually, many are surprised how many fruits and vegetables he’ll eat – celery and cabbage leaves being the exception, though cabbage stems are a hit! I’ve watched him sneakily remove broccoli from my friend’s bag, gobbled tomatoes from crates, and forage raspberries straight off a friend’s allotment (sorry Liz). To me it makes sense; a natural diet of fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Unfortunately he’s not that selective, and easily succumbs to bread, sugar and fat (not dis-similar to us!).

He’s eaten many other wilds over the years too, mostly be default when he’s foraged (I’d say stolen) food from my kitchen. Nettle and Lemon energy balls he devoured very quickly, as were the second batch (very frustrating), Hogweed Seed Biscuits were a hit too, Alexander Seeded Bread is gulped easily and Elderflower ice cream has been ogled at, but so far I have been able to keep it away from him.

Such a sweet dog.

Of course, though he’s also an instinctual animal, a wild beast, an opportunist and a forager. Not dis-similar to us, though he is more closely connected to his wild roots. We have lots to learn from animals, and unfortunately they have lots to learn from us!

picking seaweeds from a rock pool

Dear Miss Blackberry

Dear Miss Blackberry

    Miss Blackberry, are you winking at me? Flashing your juicy smile my way. How can I resist your deep colouring and shiny curves dotting the prickly hedgerows. And how can I decipher your sweetness from your sour sisters and under-ripe brothers?    …

Traditional Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Traditional Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Full of irresistible flavour, in a British pudding kind-of-way, with no awards for appearances. A cobbler is a baked dish made with fruit and batter, it’s stodgy, filling and easy to make. Just as satisfying as bread pudding, using blackberries as a flavouring makes it…