I never thought I'd be a forager. I always figured food foragers were those healthy hippy boho types with dreadlocks and baggy happy pants and great tans from a lifetime of beach living.
But tonight I think I realised I actually might be a real-life forager. Because I went out there... with the intent of seeking wild food. Deliberately... with a bucket. It was pre-meditated. I foraged... FOR REAL! And it was kind of cool.
You see, I've had my eye on a particular plum tree for years. It grows on the roadside close to our home. It's a weird shape, it's in a weird place, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who knows about its existence. I watch it through the seasons from my window and silently cheer it on. (Go Plum Tree! You're awesome! Go you!! Give me a P! Give me an L! Give me a U!! ...oh you get the idea...)
I keep an eye on the council lads when they mow close-by (careful fellas) and other than that, it just grows.
Last year, in very early spring it blossomed like crazy. My otherwise invisible, odd-shaped, roadside plum was suddenly conspicuous... a big fluffy white puff ball... I wanted to run over and tell it to cool it with the show-offy blossom, you're blowing your cover secret-free-fruit-tree... You're letting the cat outta the bag... But before long it was leafy and camouflaging back in with the weeds and bracken and overgrown undergrowth.
Tonight after dinner I tucked a large bowl under my arm and slunk off to harvest. What a season! My plum tree is bending over backwards with juicy plump plums. Branches so laden with sweet swollen jewels they're touching the ground. More plums than our family can eat. More plums than ten families can eat! I filled my bowl without making so much as a dint on the tree. So many plums.
The roadside blackberries are also beginning to ripen - and I managed to find a few black jammy treats to add to the harvest.
On the way home I walked past a vacant piece of land sprouting baby rocket... It smells amazing! So um... rockety. (Should be a food writer). Will have to remember the rocket for a salad tomorrow. (With a bit of shaved parmesan and balsamic... oh mouth watering zinginess!)
I made a plum pie with the foraged fruit!
So maybe I am a forager... minus the great tan and happy pants. Have you ever eaten roadside fruit, weeds, or seeds? I think I might be converted! I can't wait to pick more blackberries... I think they're next on my list!