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Hedgerow Harvesting.

Autumn has definitely arrived here in Arigna. The mornings and evenings have that chill that denotes the changing season. I am a big foraging fan and spend many hours at this time picking various fruits and berries. My fave is the blackberry. It makes such a delicious jam . Setting is improved by adding some cooking apples which are full of pectin. Blackberries can also be used for cordials, liquers, chutneys and wine. The Rowan is making a great display at the moment with its just ripe berries. I have never used it for anything but I know it has it’s uses.

Rowan tree near our house.

My research has found recipes for jam, jelly and wine made from rowanberries. The berries are very tart and cannot be eaten raw. Below is a recipe for Rowanberry and Apple Jelly.

3lbs (1.5kg) rowanberries.   3lbs (1.5kg) apples(cookers or crabs).  2.5pints(1.25 litres) water or cider. Sugar.

Cut up the apples and simmer with 2 pints (1 litre) of the water (or cider) until the apples are pulpy. Strain. Now place the rowanberries in the remainder of the water or cider and simmer slowly until pulpy, not less than 1 hour. Strain. Combine the 2 juices , measure and to pint (half litre) of juice add 1lb(500g) sugar. Dissolve over low heat and then boil rapidly until it sets when tested. Pour into sterilised jars and store somewhere where the beautiful can be admired.

Happy gathering and preserving. Let me know of any successes or failures. Part 2 of Hedgerow Harvesting in a few days.

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