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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Free Food

Had another lovely day out with the girls today, the weather was cooler and a lot less sunshine. I was able to get them out of bed early so we went arts and crafting at the museum again. Before I left home though I was able to water half of the vege plot and will do the rest this afternoon.

I saw these critters early this morning before going out:

He popped his head out of the pond as I walked by.
Mid instar nymph of a Hawthorn Shieldbug 'Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale'

Recently on the way into town I observed some trees were full of some type of fruit but not being from here I didn’t know if they were edible or not. But last night while checking out other blogs I came across one where the gentleman talked about foraging recently for cherry plums (sorry I forgot to keep the link for his blog). His pictures looked very much like the fruits I saw on the trees from the bus. So with this in mind I took along some plastic bags and after the museum we walked the bus route to the trees (which was about a third of the way home).
When we got there I could see quite clearly that they were indeed the same fruit and a taste test revealed that they were indeed plums.

We had a great time picking them and stuffing our gobs which was about thirty-five to forty minutes, then as the bus stop was literally right in front of the trees we waited for the next bus home.
In all we got 8lbs of fruit, I plan to make jams, pies, syrups, tarts, muffins, cakes, you name it I‘ll try to make it. The yellow ones were not yet ripe so we’ll check them again next week.

The area is on the bus route and it is a strip of land that sits between the main road and a smaller residential road with houses all around (the picture with the girls waiting for the bus shows this). It is such a pity the people in the area allow such a bountiful harvest to go to waste, there was tons rotting on the ground from some of the trees whose fruits had ripened earlier last month. The fruit wasn’t even hard to harvest as most of the trees branches were on the ground (if you click on the last photo you can see the grass in between the branches).

Last night I made a promise to myself to create a calendar specifically to mark the dates/ months to harvest wild free foods. I’ll also attach a local map to it and mark areas where I have seen fruits to be harvested. So that I can remember where I saw them when its time to go a picking.


  1. Hi Kella,
    What a lovely harvest and all for free. Good job you had your little angels to help you with reaching the fruit.

    It is a shame that such fresh food goes to waste.

    Did you get any odd looks?! I know I have in the past.

  2. Yes I am definitely happy with such a huge free harvest of fruit. My husband was as expected somewhat appalled, as we are not from here, he lives in a state of worry that someday I'll poison us all.

    I agree it is a terrible, terrible waste of good food. I think when councils plant edible fruit trees as ornamentals (like some proper cherry trees I came upon early July that were at the end of their cropping season so I only got a handful of delicious fruit that was left by the birds) they could at least sign post them as also edible fruiting trees so local people who don't know their weeds from veges and who think everything grown by the council must be poisonous would at least know they can eat what the tree produces.

    Yes the odd looks are common but when you are with the kids it is much easier to ignore because your attention is more on keeping them safe, etc than on yourself and how others are perceiving you, iykwim :)

  3. Hi. You should get hold of a copy of Collins Gem, Food for Free. It is pocket sized so you can always carry it in your handbag and it tells you when and how to harvest all sorts of edible wild plants.

  4. Thanks for the book tip Garden Mum, I'll have to stick it on my wish list.

  5. What a fantastic 'free' harvest!

    Kate in Devon.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog Kate. I'm really chuffed with my free food creations.



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