‘E’ is for Elder

elderflower

Creative Commons Photo Credit: Jean Mottershead

I hope you don’t think I’m cheating by including something in our ‘Allotment A-Z’ that doesn’t actually grow on our allotment, although it does grow just beside our allotment fence! I thought about ‘eggplant’ (aubergine here in the UK) and endive, but I honestly find our elder tree more useful than both those crops, so here we are…

The elder tree or shrub is one of my absolute foraging favourites and can be found growing pretty much anywhere in the UK. It has distinctive frothy ‘sprays’ of creamy-white flowerheads in spring and bunches of dark purple-black berries in autumn. Both the flowers and the berries are brilliantly useful in the kitchen.

‘E’ is most definitely for Elder…

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Wild and free

forage4

We’ve been foraging in the woods, hedgerows and fields around our house for years! Gathering wild food is great fun and hugely rewarding, but you do have to be VERY, VERY careful about what you pick. Either go with someone who knows what they’re doing or take a detailed foraging guide book with you to safely identify plants, seeds, berries and mushrooms BEFORE you eat them.

forage

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