morell fungus fungi mushroom forage foraging forager fre food wild thrifty sustainability sustainable self sufficient

Foraging in Spring – Free food in the wild UK

Free

Foraging in Spring, for food in the wild, is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

Wild Garlic ramsons forage forager foraging in Spring free food in the wild uk sustainability thrifty

Wild Garlic – ‘Ramsons’ – Ready to forage right now! – Great in a stir-fry or pesto

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem. Start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground, or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick during Springtime in the UK.

If you haven’t tried foraging before, why not just go for a walk around your local park or woodland and see if you recognise any of the plants or fungi that appear on this blog.

Take a tub or bag with you and make sure that you wash your foraged finds before you eat them.

Each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

Get Foraging in Spring!

Early Spring:

Birch SapBulrushChickweedCleaversDandelion RootGorse FlowersGround elderHairy bittercressHop ShootsJack-by-the-hedgeMorelNettleOyster MushroomSweet VioletVelvet shankWild Garlic

Late Spring:

BorageBrooklimeBistortCarragheenChickweedCleaversCow ParsleyDandelion Flowers & RootDog RoseFairy-ring ChampignonFat HenGorse FlowersHawthorne leaves & blossomHop ShootsLaverMallow leavesMintMorelNettlePrimrosePrunellaRosemarySea BeetSorrelSt George’s MushroomSweet CicelySweet VioletTansy leavesWatercressWild GarlicYarrow

Identifying your foraged finds

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the above on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

Dandelion jam jelly honey make home-made thrifty sustainability gift present DIY dandelions

Dandelions – flowers and leaves great in salad – turn the roots into a coffee-like drink

morell fungus fungi mushroom forage foraging in spring forager free food wild thrifty sustainability sustainable self sufficient

Foraging in Spring for the elusive but tasty Morell

Dog Rose forage foraging forager wild food may uk thrifty sustainability

Dog Rose – you can eat the petals!

Ground Elder forage foraging in Spring uk free food wild thrifty sustainability save money

Ground Elder – great eaten raw in salads

 

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:
My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

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Hazelnut Hazelnuts foraging for free food wildfood bushcraft forager forage survival gather harvest nut nuts

Foraging in August – free food in the wild UK

Free

Foraging for food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

Hazelnut Hazelnuts foraging for free food wildfood bushcraft forager forage survival gather harvest nut nuts

Foraging Hazelnuts in August

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem. Start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground, or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in August in the UK.

Each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

If you haven’t tried foraging before, why not just go for a walk around your local park or woodland, see if you recognise any of the plants or fungi that appear on this blog.

Take a tub or bag with you, and make sure that you wash your foraged finds before you eat them.

Get Foraging in August!

Borage    Black Mustard    Blackberries    Brooklime    Cauliflower Fungus     Carragheen     Cep    Chanterelle    Cherry Plums   Chicken of the woods    Chickweed    Cleavers    Crab Apples   Dandelion Flowers & Root    Elderberries     Fairy-ring Champignon    Fat Hen   Field Mushroom   Giant Puffball   Gooseberry    Green Walnut    Hazelnuts   Hedgehog Fungus   Horse Mushroom    Laver   Mallow leaves    Mint    Nettle   Mulberries     Parasol Mushroom   Primrose Leaves    Prunella Raspberry    Rosehips    Rosemary   Sea Beet     Shaggy Cap    Sorrel     Watercress   Wild Cherries    Wild Damsons    Wild Fig   Wild Strawberry

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the above on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

 

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:

My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here:


 

Gooseberry gooseberries forage foraging bushcraft forager wild food uk

Foraging in July – free food in the wild UK

Free

Foraging for food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

Gooseberry gooseberries forage foraging bushcraft forager wild food uk

Gooseberries

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem. Start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground, or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in July in the UK.

Each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

If you haven’t tried foraging before, why not just go for a walk around your local park or woodland, see if you recognise any of the plants or fungi that appear on this blog.

Take a tub or bag with you, and make sure that you wash your foraged finds before you eat them.

Get Foraging in July!

Borage    Blackcurrant   Brooklime    Carragheen   Cep   Chanterelle   Chicken of the woods   Chickweed    Cleavers   Dandelion Flowers & Root    Dog Rose    Fairy-ring Champignon   Fat Hen   Field Mushroom   Giant Puffball   Gooseberry    Gorse Flowers    Green Walnut   Horse Mushroom   Laver  Lime Blossom   Mallow leaves    Mint    Nettle   Parasol Mushroom    Primrose Leaves    Prunella    Raspberry   Redcurrant   Rosemary   Sea Beet   Shaggy Cap   Sorrel   Sweet Violet Tansy leaves    Watercress    Wild Fig   Wild Strawberry

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the above on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

 

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:

My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here:


 

Wild Strawberry foraging in June in the UK forage bushcraft thrifty alpine strawberry

Foraging in June – free food in the wild UK

Free

Foraging for food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

Wild Strawberry foraging in June in the UK forage bushcraft thrifty alpine strawberry

Wild Strawberry – small but tasty!

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem. Start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground, or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in June in the UK.

Each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

If you haven’t tried foraging before, why not just go for a walk around your local park or woodland, see if you recognise any of the plants or fungi that appear on this blog.

Take a tub or bag with you, and make sure that you wash your foraged finds before you eat them.

Get Foraging in June!

Borage    Brooklime     Carragheen     Chickweed     Cleavers     Cow Parsley     Dandelion Flowers & Root     Dog Rose    Elderfower     Fairy-ring Champignon    Fat Hen     Gorse Flowers     Hawthorne leaves & blossom    Laver     Mallow leaves      Mint     Morel      Nettle      Primrose     Prunella     Rosemary     Sea Beet    Shaggy Ink Cap  Sorrel St George’s Mushroom    Sweet Cicely     Sweet Violet    Tansy leaves     Watercress     Wild Fig    Wild Garlic    Wild Strawberry     Yarrow

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the above on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

 

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:

My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here:


 

Elderflower Champagne recipe home brew sparkling wine delicous alcohol forage foraged forager foraging bushcraft wildfood cheap thrifty

Home Brew: Elderflower Champagne

Cheap Food / on a Budget, Making & DIY, Thrifty

Making Elderflower Champagne is a fantastic way of turning free, foraged ingredients and low-cost store cupboard ingredients, into a few large bottles of actual alcohol. If you are new to making home brew, Elderflower Champagne is a great place to start.

Elderflower champagne recipe home brew for foragers foraging forager foraged

Elderflowers in bloom

This drink is so cheap and easy to make. The result is a delicious, elegant drink that you can take to a picnic or BBQ and share with friends, or just enjoy at home on a summer’s evening when you fancy something refreshing.

Foraging for Elderflower is pretty simple and the flowers are easy to spot. They have a creamy white colour with a very distinctive smell. They appear in large, flat heads in early summer, usually at the end of May and beginning of June. Elderflower heads should be picked as they are just coming into flower. You can read more about Elderflower varieties on Wikipedia here: Elderflower

Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 large heads of Elderflower (gently shake the heads to remove any insects but do not wash them as you will need all the blossom to ferment your brew!)
  • 4 ½ Litres of water
  • 2 sliced lemons
  • 450g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

Make it:

Elderflower champagne recipe home brew lemons sugar bowl brewing

Leave to steep in water for up to 36 hours

  1. Add the 6 heads of Elderflower, and the sliced lemons to the 4 ½ litres of water in a large bowl. You can split between a couple of bowls if you like. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel to keep insects away and Leave the mixture to steep for 24-36 hours
  2. Strain your mixture through a sieve into another bowl – you can now discard the Elderflower and lemon slices
  3. Add the 450g of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and give it a good stir
  4. Pour into clean plastic bottles with screw top lids – close the lid but not tightly. As the mixture ferments the pressure will build in the bottles and you will need to release the pressure every couple of days. Releasing the pressure
    Elderflower champagne recipe home brew sparkling wine delicous home brew brewing foraged foraging forage forager elderflowers

    Serve chilled and enjoy!

    avoids an exploding bottle and an Elderflower-flavoured kitchen

  5. Keep releasing the pressure every couple of days for 4-5 weeks. If you like you can do the occasional taste test during this time, as the longer you leave it, the drier (and stronger) the drink gets
  6. After the above fermentation time of about 5 weeks, firmly close each bottle and store in a cool dark place, until you are ready to drink!
  7. This drink will keep for months in the cupboard… but it doesn’t usually get a chance to! Tastes best if it has been chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours

 

Enjoy home brewing!

You might also enjoy this earlier post with a home brew Sloe Gin recipe: Make it: Sloe Gin

 

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Dog Rose forage foraging forager wild food may uk thrifty sustainability

Foraging in May – Free food in the wild UK

Free

Foraging for food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

Dog Rose forage foraging forager wild food may uk thrifty sustainability

Dog Rose – Edible petals and later, the rose-hips.

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem as you start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground, or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in May in the UK. As the weather gets warmer, there is plenty to be found for the eager forager.

Each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

If you haven’t tried foraging before, why not just go for a walk around your local park or woodland, see if you recognise any of the plants or fungi that appear on this blog.

Take a tub or bag with you, and make sure that you wash your foraged finds before you eat them.

Get Foraging in May!

Borage    Brooklime     Carragheen     Chickweed     Cleavers     Cow Parsley     Dandelion Flowers & Root     Dog Rose      Fairy-ring Champignon     Fat Hen     Gorse Flowers     Hawthorne leaves & blossom     Hop Shoots     Laver     Mallow leaves     Mint     Morel     Nettle     Primrose     Prunella     Rosemary     Sea Beet    Sorrel     St George’s Mushroom     Sweet Cicely     Sweet Violet     Tansy leaves     Watercress     Wild Garlic     Yarrow

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the above on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

 

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:

My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here:


 

giant puffball mushroom fungus forage foraging forager frugal thrifty free food wild sustainability

Foraging in November – free food in the wild

Free

Foraging for food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

giant puffball mushroom fungus forage foraging forager frugal thrifty free food wild sustainability

Giant Puffball Mushroom

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem as you start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in November, each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try exploring each of the below on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

Foraging in November:

Blewit    Cauliflower fungus    Cep      Chanterelle     Chestnuts    Chickweed     Cowberry fruits     Dandelion root       Fairy-ring Champignon    Field mushrooms    Giant puffball mushrooms     Gorse flowers     Hawthorne berries    Hazelnut/Cobnuts    Hedgehog fungus    Honey fungus    Hops    Horse mushroom       Jelly ear     Navelwort    Oyster mushroom      Rose hips      Saffron milk cap      Shaggy cap     Sweet chestnuts    Velvet shank    Walnut     Wood sorrel
Happy Foraging!

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:

My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here:


 

rose hip rosehips foraging forage forager free food in the wild october thrifty sustainability

Foraging in October – Free food in the wild

Free

Foraging for food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

rose hip rosehips foraging forage forager free food in the wild october thrifty sustainability

Rose Hips – free food in the wild

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem as you start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Here is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in October, each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

Foraging in October:

Beech nuts    Beefsteak fungus    Blackberries    Blewit    Cauliflower fungus    Cep    Chanterelle    Chickweed    Crab apples    Dandelion root    Elderberries    Fairy-ring Champignon    Field mushrooms    Giant puffball mushrooms    Hazelnut/Cobnuts    Hedgehog fungus    Hops    Horse mushroom   Jack-by-the-hedge    Jelly ear    Juniper    Medlar    Nettle    Oyster mushroom    Parasol mushroom    Rose hips    Rowan    Saffron milk cap    Sea beet    Shaggy cap    Sloe    Sweet chestnuts    Velvet shank    Walnut

For a fantastic Sloe Gin recipe, take a look at this Thrifty Sustainability post: Make it – Sloe Gin

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the above on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and preserve your findings:
My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here:


 

how to make sloe gin sloes blackthorn home brew diy gifts alcohol bottle present home made sloe gin

Make it: Sloe Gin

Making & DIY, Thrifty

Making Sloe Gin is one of the most rewarding pastimes in September/October.

how to make sloe gin sloes blackthorn home brew diy gifts alcohol bottle present home made sloe gin

Freshly picked sloes

Scroll down for a delicious sloe gin recipe. If you are lucky, and there is an early crop of Sloes, you will have time to make lots of little gift-sized bottles of home-made sloe gin, to give away to friends and family at Christmas… Won’t you be popular this year!

Giving home-made DIY gifts is a great way for you to save money and over the years the savings will add up. Your friends and family will appreciate something that has been made for them by you, everyone who receives something will feel special, and worth your time and effort, and that is a gift in itself.

Of course there is always the option of getting your Grinch on and keeping the lot for yourself.. no one would blame you, as Sloe Gin is purply-red, bottled bliss. One sip spreads a lovely warming glow through your chest, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to cosy winter nights snuggled up on the sofa.

sloe berries berry how to make sloe gin sloes blackthorn home brew diy gifts alcohol bottle present home made sloe gin liqour

Sloe berries – fruit of the Blackthorn

Where to find Sloes

Sloes are the berries of the blackthorn bush, sloes grow in hedgerows all over the UK as a shrub or small tree.

The autumn fruits appear blue at first then they have a slightly cloudy sheen, then turn shiny black. Ready to pick in September/October.

It is best to pick sloes after the first frost, but if you can’t wait that long and there has been an early crop of sloes, simply pop them in the freezer for a few hours before you make your gin.

Just a little warning, don’t try to eat the sloes when you pick them, the fruits are very sharp and tart and not at all tasty. Best to make gin out of them.

 

 

How to make Sloe Gin

Ingredients:

  • Sloes
  • Sugar (granulated white sugar or caster sugar is best)
  • Gin (shop around to find supermarket cheapest deals or own brand)

Before you start you will need a large, sterilised bottle, jar or demijohn – something that can be sealed (even if you seal it with clingfilm). You could even use the bottles that the gin came in.

how to make sloe gin sloes blackthorn home brew diy gifts alcohol bottle present home made sloe gin liqour

Sloe berries – ready to be washed and pricked!

Preparing the Sloes

Once you have picked your Sloes, wash them to remove any dirt, then place in a bowl. Now comes the fun part… prick small holes in each Sloe. You can do this by daintily taking each sloe and piercing its skin with a sewing needle… or you can get a fork and stab up a bowl of them in a hit and miss, let’s get this done stylee. Either way will work. The idea is that by piercing the skin, the juices will be able to flow into the gin and make a much richer tasting and more beautifully coloured drink.

Making the Gin

  1. Fill a third of your jar, bottle or demijohn with your freshly-pricked sloes
  2. Add sugar, it will fill the gaps between the sloes, up to about the level of the top of the sloes
  3. Pour in Gin to cover the sloes and sugar, up to the top of your bottle, glass or demijohn – If you like, you can add complimentary flavours at this point, such as a cinnamon stick or a few drops of almond or vanilla essence
  4. Seal the jar, bottle or demijohn and give your brew a few swishes to shake the mixture and start the process
  5. Place your Sloe gin in a dark, cool cupboard and give it a few swishes every day for two or three weeks and then you can leave it to stand. The mixture will continue to deepen in colour and flavour and you can leave it for three or four months
  6. After the process is complete your mixture will be a beautiful, rich, purply-red colour. Pour this liquid through a sieve (or a square of muslin) into a measuring jug, and from the jug pour into sterilised screw-cap bottles and seal up, they are now ready to give as gifts. Or… pour the sloe gin into a glass and have some immediately… yum yum!

Once sealed in screw-cap bottles the slow gin will keep for years.. but good luck with that, most will be gone by the new year!

Make use of the leftovers

If you don’t want to waste the gin and sugar soaked sloes that are left over at the end of the process… try eating a couple.. or pour vodka or sherry over them, this time don’t add any sugar, seal up the bottle and swish the mix occasionally over a couple of weeks to make a cheeky sloe vodka or sloe sherry –

how to make sloe gin sloes home brew diy gifts alcohol bottle present home made sloe gin

You can give small bottles of sloe gin as gifts

it won’t have as rich a colour as your first batch of sloe gin, but it’s a great way of adding value to a cheap bottle of vodka or sherry.

Experiment & get creative

You can experiment with the amount of sugar you use each year and with different types of alcohol if you are not a gin fan, there is no set rule when making sloe gin and there are plenty of different recipes out there if you fancy doing a little research.

Get creative if you are making little bottles of sloe gin as gifts, maybe tie a ribbon around the neck or decorate the label with glitter, or perhaps tie a parcel label around the neck and write ‘Drink Me’ on it.

Enjoy, drink responsibly and get used to being incredibly popular – this will tend to happen if you give bottles of home-made alcohol as gifts!
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blackberry forraging forrage for free food in the wild pick free food foraging forage find edible

Foraging in September – Free food in the wild

Free

Foraging for free food in the wild is a fantastic way to bulk out your meals for free.

blackberry forraging forrage for free food in the wild pick free food foraging forage find edible

Blackberries

It’s also great exercise, great for connecting with nature and great for boosting your self-esteem as you start to discover the wealth of free food that’s just poking out of the ground or dangling off a tree in your local area… if you only know what to look for!

Below is a short list of the kinds of foods that are ready to find and pick in September, each item in the list is a link that will show you a description on Wikipedia, so that you may identify the food correctly before you pick and eat it.

Be safe when foraging, make sure that you are picking something edible and not something poisonous! It is a good idea to use a guide book or to research online before you go foraging. For example, try looking up each of the below on Wikipedia to find an accurate image and description.

Foraging in September:

Beech nuts     Bilberry     Black mustard     Blackberries     Blewit     Cauliflower fungus     Cep     Chanterelle     Clover flowers     Crab apples     Dandelion roots     Elderberries     Fairy-ring Champignon     Field mushroom     Giant puffball mushroom     Hawthorn berries     Hazelnut/Cobnuts     Heather flowers     Hedgehog fungus     Honey fungus     Hop fruits     Horse mushroom     Inkcaps     Jack-by-the-hedge     Juniper     Parasol mushroom     Poppy     Raspberries     Rosehip    Rowan berries     Saffron milk cap     Sea beet     Shaggy cap     Velvet shank     Wild service tree     Wild strawberry

 

I recommend the following books about foraging for free food – they help you to identify, harvest, prepare and then preserve your findings:

My favourite is ‘Food for Free‘, because it is a pocket-sized guide that you can take out foraging.

If you would like to receive Thrifty Sustainability updates by email when a new article is added, please subscribe here: