MELLOW FRUITFULNESS: Free food. Healthy food. It’s out there, all around Otley, and sometimes in the most unlikely of places. Just make sure your foraging is sustainable and safe, and as that is much easier in the case of fruit, that’s what I’m focusing on today. Correctly identifying stuff that isn’t going to make you ill is obviously crucial, but also only pick from plentiful sources, so that there is enough for the plant to reproduce and for wildlife to feed on. Most popular are the blackberries, and the tough bramble plants are the ones I was referring to that are to be found in surprising parcels of neglected land around town. There are a lot of elderberries around at the moment, too, but this year’s crop of bilberries on the Chevin hasn’t been great and the peak season has passed. Don’t forget rose hips, and also sloes, the dark blue fruit of the blackthorn bush, both to be found in a lot of our hedgerows.
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