We are well into the summer holidays now and I’m sure that I’m not the only one that is finding it tricky to find activities to keep the little ones entertained without spending a small fortune.
For those of you that are regular readers of my blog will know that I am a huge fan of getting outside and letting the children run wild in the open air.
We have such immense beauty all around us and for me it is hugely important to let children explore this and use their imaginations without the use of technology which can so often get in the way.
One thing I’ve not thought much about doing though is using my time outside to forage as a family, so when Fruit Shoot set me the challenge to do some foraging as a family I was extremely interested in giving it a go!
For those of you that don’t know what foraging is, it is basically searching for wild food.
It’s always something that has interested me but I have also been a little apprehensive as I have always feared my lack of knowledge would lead me to eating something I shouldn’t!
I took note of these top tips from foraging expert Fergus Drennan before heading out which really put my mind at ease:
- Before setting out in any foraging expedition remember to make sure you know they the fruits you will be looking out for. Never pick and eat anything if you’re not sure what it is – some plants are poisonous and can make you ill.
- There is no dress code for foraging, you could wrap up in thermals or wear practical things like waterproofs and wellies. Don’t let wing and rain put you off, it’s all part of the elemental experience! Foraging can get a little messy, so it’s probably not a great idea to wear your best shoes.
- Avoid collie ting all the fruit you can see as other creature rely on them for food too. Blackbirds and pigeons absolutely adore ripe mahonia berries and young foxes will eat fruit such as cherry plums!
- Collect seeds and plant them to help you identify plants. You could even create a dedicated wild food plant area in your garden or pots of the garden is small.
- It is also worth checking which plants are rare, threatened or protected by law (even if they are edible) in The Wildlife and Countryside Act. The Woodland Trust also has great tips and advice for foraging.
Armed with our pocket book which would hopefully give us some tips we headed off in search of some free food.
All this foraging was thirsty work so we sat back and grabbed a Fruit Shoot whist chatting about what fruit combinations would be their favourite if they could pick some flavours for themselves out of fruit they could find.
Frankie decided on watermelon and strawberries, although I’m not sure we are going to be able to find any watermelon locally to us though!
All of this fruit picking got me thinking about what we could do with our stash and I think there is going to be some jam making coming in the next few weeks so keep an eye out!