Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday Tips - Foraging, but not just for food!

I've always had an interest in foraging, but over the last few years as our income has reduced and we have moved closer to the countryside I have had both the need and the opportunity to take up this little habit!

Foraged Cherry Plums and Blackberries
I'm not always as prepared as I should be and often have to miss out because I lack a suitable bag in which to carry my 'finds' home in (no matter how gentle you are, blackberries will always squash, staining everything in sight! This is the one occasion when there is just no better portable carrying device other than the plastic bag!)

Foraged Fruit Compote
Windfall Chutney
I'm also not as organised as I should be, and have missed out on entire crops because I forgot to walk down the lane at precisely the right week in June! At times I've been incredibly naughty and not got round to using some windfall fruit that I was given until it was fit for nothing other than the compost bin.

But despite it all I have managed to make some lovely 'Foraged Fruit Compote' (entirely from my own recipe!) and 'Windfall Chutney' (from a fab recipe in Jam, Jelly and Relish by Ghillie James)

BUT... did you know that you don't have to limit foraging to foodstuffs?

Being a crafty lass, I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to haberdashery.... buttons, ribbons, buckles, do-dahs and gee-gaws - I have to keep them all! I will remove ribbons and buttons from all my old clothes before they are recycled, shrink any woollen item to make felt and basically pinch anything pretty to re-use it somewhere else! Now this obsession has spread across my family and every time I return home to Mum I find that she has managed to collect together all sorts of bits and pieces from the people she knows!

This is just a small selection of what I returned with last time....

Feathers, buttons, ribbons, petals, sequins and wooden shapes...
And fabulously - once people know that you like collecting crafty items they often do all the foraging for you, and you'll find that every time you go to visit you'll come away with 
'a few little bits I thought you could use'
And one day, if you are very lucky you may just find that someone passes on that holy grail of craft foragers 'Mum's Button Tin'


  1. Love it, interesting and fun. Great when other people do the finding as you get a bigger range.

  2. Foraged Fruit Compote sounds delicious, you`ll have to publish a recipe (or is it a closely guarded family secret). I was lucky enough to inherit my grannys button tin & looking through it always brings back memories of cardies she knitted for me or dresses she made.


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