You just need to look out of the window this time of the year to see the abundance nature has to offer.
Fruit trees are heavy with fruit and the vegetable patch is very lush and ready for rich pickings (it almost feels like it’s too much!). When out walking I always bring a basket (Kettle oval fruit basket £27.50) or trug, because you never know what goodies you might stumble across – Blackberries, Damsons or even Mushrooms. Be aware though – always refer to a book or a reputable source on the internet and only eat what can be identified ‘as edible’. There are plenty of foraging courses/classes available around the country. I recommend looking at BBC Countryfile’s Top 10 Foraging Courses in the UK.
Kettle Oval Fruit Basket
When picking fruit from trees it might be a good idea to invest in a fruitpicker. There are many types on the market. We stock the WOLF-Garden adjustable fruitpicker (attachment £19.99) and separate telescopic handles (from £35.99). It is a traditional picker with a soft cloth bag for the fruit to fall into . Alternatively, we also have Kent & Stowe’s Fruitpicker for £24.99. It is a complete picker with a metal cage on the top.
WOLF-Garden adjustable fruitpicker and Kent & Stowe’s Fruitpicker
There is so much fruit now that to be able to store and enjoy some all winter is a bonus. Here are some tips:
Apples can be stored successfully if wrapped individually in newspaper and layered in wooden crates. We offer Coolings Apple crates at £21 each. Check every apple for cuts and bruises and choose only the perfect ones. Alternatively, use straw or paper shreddings. Place them in a frost free but cool place (30-35 degrees Fahrenheit). Pears are best eaten when picked or can be made into chutney – click here for autumn recipes.
If you don’t already have jam jars, we have a very good selection of Ball Preserving Jars and accessories, six 490ml preserving jars £12.99. When out and about you might come across a Damson tree (wild plums) in the hedgerow, even better after a frost. Pick them, they make the best jam (and cordial). It’s very easy – click here to see autumn recipes.
When it comes to storing vegetables, onions are easy to store. Let them air dry away from direct sunlight to let the skin harden. Then store in a cool, dark and dry space. Mesh bags are ideal to use by hanging them from the ceiling.
Ball Preserving Jars and accessories
If leaves are left long when drying, the onions can be platted together and hung up so air can flow freely around each bundle. Being Swedish, I prefer to pickle a lot of vegetables. Nearly everything can be pickled, either sweet or sharp. My favourite pickled vegetable recipe is on our website – click here for autumn recipes.