It’s now officially autumn – Google says so,
and nothing adds to a country walk like returning home with bags and pockets bursting with nature’s bounty. It’s free, exciting to find a hidden treasure trove, and great to be able to eat and savour the rewards of what-isn’t-really-labour. The usual caveats apply of course: only pick what you know isn’t poisonous; leave some for the next person etc.
Usually I’d be hunting through woods looking for chantrelle mushrooms, or scouring pastures for parasols. Last weekend however I was on a beach and tasted my first, ever Sea Buckthorn. I was pleasantly surprised as they were absolutely delicious; orangey, tart and with a dry, slightly salty & tannin aftertaste. And they’re really good for you.
Another new experience for me was tasting Sea Kale. I nibbled a bit raw and it’s like salty cabbage; unsurprising perhaps! eattheweeds.com says “We know from middens that seafood was very popular wth ancient peoples.”
Closer to home, in fact at home, I picked these Physalis from a tub on my balcony. They’re incredibly easy to grow and are perennials; you can be picking throughout the winter – another valuable source of vitamin C and other phytonutrients.