This was the subject of one of my very first posts two years ago! And that time has rolled round again, when the countryside comes to life with berries, mushrooms and all manner of wild goodies. As we’ve moved away from all those unwanted apple trees at Home Farm, and been so negligent on the veg patch this year -indeed it hasn’t been a good growing year- I’m turning to the hedgerow for my preserving fix. This jaunt, by the way, took place last week, before the crazy wind and rain set in!
Raspberry jelly shelved and my eye on the ripening brambles, I drive past two wild roses every day which have dozens of bright little red hips on them, flashing me like stop lights. I was again reminded the other night by an episode of Wartime Farm (This is an excellent BBC programme in which a historian and two archaeologists live and work in a time period. Part history lesson, part adventure, their enthusiasm is infectious and their knowledge impressive. Plus, I like the clothes. Especially Ruth’s shoes which I have deduced are these ones.)
So the boys and I ambled down (it’s almost always down when you live atop a hill, and ambling back up is often the tough bit), basket in hand, and I picked as many rosehips as a grumbling Otis would allow.
He really only likes the sling if he’s kept moving. If he’s stationary he wants to get out and shuffle about the roadside. Which is not great: the ditches are like blooming ice crevasses. But we picked 500g of teeny wee fruits and a bit of magimix chopping, boiling, straining and syrup-ing later, I have three and a half bottles, plus two from an earlier harvest. The second lot is much darker, I think due to the riper hips and a stick of cinnamon. Yum. Plus it has required no digging, manuring, weeding, guilty negligence or faffing around. Nature did it all!
I love it on porridge, and Sol used to, but now declares it “too strong, mummy.” (More for mummy then.)