View Full Version : How to forage for your own food

8th June 2014, 09:21
Vitimin C folks , we need it !! I need it even more in the winter than the spring and summer and what does nature say , it says yes ! And produces the most wonderful fruit to aid us .. Rosehip .

Here is a adorable man who will show us a little something to do with that :)


Select the nice firm shiny juicy-looking ones, once they have turned a rich glossy red, or dark orange. You don't have to use wild rose-hips. The cultivated roses in your garden are just as good, provided they have not been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic. Indeed, the cultivated roses in your garden most probably have huge hips. They are fun to use, too, and have nice fragrant fruits.

Of course, the rose-hip can be considered just a giant quince or apple. Or a quince can be considered a giant rose-hip. Compare the two, and you'll see what I mean, as they are all members of the rose family, and have similar fruits and flowers.

Once you have gathered a quantity of rosehips, cut each of them in half lengthways. You will then find that the seedpods are filled with bristley-like fibres. These fibres will catch in your throat, if you eat them, so they must be carefully removed. I simply scrape them out with my fingernail, but you can use an implement like a knife or nail-file to do so. Once you have scraped the bristles out, you will be left with a hard fruity shell. (Not much flesh, perhaps, after all the effort, but it's very rich in Vitamin C, and quite a tasty fruit.) Take the scraped rose-hips and give them a blast of water under a garden hose or tap to remove any lingering fibres.

Having examined your hips to make sure there are no fibres to get stuck in your throat, you can dry the hips and use them to make rose-hip tea with. Of course, you can make a fresh pot of rose-hip tea with fresh hips, too. You can make the hips into jelly/jam, to eat on bread and butter. Or one can cook the fruits into a syrup with sugar to give to babies, or to pour on ice cream.

You could actually just drop some whole fruits into a pot of hot water, and let them steep for a while that way. This would be a quick way to make rose-hip tea (or jelly) without the safety preparations as described above. I somehow suspect that some of the ready-made commercially available rose-hip teabags may still have the bristles still (safely) inside the bag. The main thing is to avoid the bristles, whether you do this by cutting them out, or draining them off afterwards. If you are gonna eat the fruits as a raw fresh outdoor snack, you will still be obliged to open them up and clean them out. They are very nice raw, and a better source of Vitamin C than a pill. : source zuditaka

8th June 2014, 20:06
Elderflower cordial is one of my favourite drinks of the summer , and I think it's much more fun to make your own , my son and I go foraging for Elderflowers and this years bounty well let's just say we had to sneak into a few places that maybe we shouldn't lol , the local vets garden is full of them!!

But they are found all over and I do not encourage anyone to trespass :watch:

Here is my recipie

Elderflower Cordial
Dissolve 3 1/2 lbs sugar in 3 pints of hot water.
When cold add 20 Elderflower heads, 2 oz tartaric acid, 2 sliced lemons. Stir & leave for 24 hours. Strain, bottle & keep in fridge (or freeze for later)

To know how to find Elderflowers here is a good short video , enjoy !


8th June 2014, 21:43
I very much enjoy this, so thanks Tribe :-)

8th June 2014, 21:46
You may also wish to try this

Elderflower Champagne
7 heads of Elderflower
1 gallon cold water
1 1/4 Ib sugar
2 lemons
2 tbspns White wine vinegar

Boil water, pour over the sugar; when cold throw in Elderflowers slice lemons & add White wine vinegar.
Stand for 24hrs. Strain & bottle, using strong bottles. Cork well. (fizzy pop/water bottles do well)

Be careful when opening the bottles after fermention = bang !!

9th June 2014, 05:59
years ago a friend introduced me to winemaking.
we made orange,banana,elderberry,peach all from fresh ingredients.
the flavors where fantastic and usually took about three month for a gallon jar to make.
so i would make a gallon and end up with maybe two bottles as my partner tended to give away a bottle or two to friends.
the strength was to strong and very potent.

we also made elderberry champagne .
it was all good fun to make your own wine and champagne and the only reason i stopped was it was to strong.
lost my recipe book years ago:(

thanks for the thread Tribe brought back some memories.pop pop pop of the demijohn and the occasional explosion.:D

ps.if your picking fresh fruit or berrys try not to pick from near a roadside for obvious reasons.

9th June 2014, 06:38
Of course ronin , no picking anywhere near a roadside or at low level where dogs lift there legs ;) lol x

Also seikou-Kishi wrote out a wonderful wine recipe,


4th April 2015, 15:04
I have dried and saved some of my rose hips also. :) Here in MN I have foraged oyster mushrooms off our poplar/ash trees, usually only in really moist years though. Some easy ones to find are nettles, dandelions, plantain, purslane, just to name a few. I so want some elderberry bushes. I just need to figure out where I am to plant them since they sucker. LOL
I have made apple vinegar (not the apple cider vinegar) using apples we have gotten off of our trees.
Here is a recipe:

How to Make Apple Vinegar

Use scraps, like the peels and cores or chop up whole bruised apples. Itís a faster method, taking around a month or 2 to complete the process. Depending on if you are adding scraps or just do it all at once.

-a wide-mouth jar half gallon or bigger
-apple scraps, the cores and peels or chopped up apples
-a piece of cheesecloth for covering the jar to keep out flies and debris

Leave the scraps to air. Theyíll turn brown, which is exactly what you want. Add the apple scraps to the jar and top it up with water. I sometimes use a bit of apple vinegar to give it a jump start.

Cover with the cheesecloth and put it in a warm, dark place or you can add scraps to the jar as you go.
Youíll notice the contents of the jar start to thicken after a few days and a grayish scum forms on top. When this happens, stop adding scraps and leave the jar for a month or so to ferment.

After about a month; you can start taste-testing the juice. When itís just strong enough for you, strain out the apple scraps and bottle the vinegar. I check mine with a pH strip. It should be about a pH of 4.

Itís ok if your vinegar is cloudy, there will be some sediment from the apples and whatís known as ďthe motherĒ. Itís all good. If you donít like the cloudiness though, straining it through a paper coffee filter will remove most of the sediment.

31st July 2015, 05:07
Rosehips Have been a favorite forage for us for decades, very delicious and tasty.
A lot of work, and yes there will be some thorns in the fingers from it, but they are a small price to pay.
We have used the hips for pretty much everything possible, the favorite being the jam which is good in tea
use honey as a sweetener in the jam making rather than just sugar as a nice change.
we boil them until soft and then run them through a cone shaped collander with a wooden grinding rod which separates out the seeds and undesirable bits leaving just the pureed fruit paste.

the petals are really useful as well.

enjoy being
10th August 2015, 06:07
Have a look at the usefulness of Cardoon. A relative of the sunflower and artichoke. Stalks are edible and the flower heads too, as well as their pistols can be used as an alternative for rennet to make cheese. Also a very beautiful flower which looks like a huge Scotch thistle. The flowers can be dried out and will last for years as an ornament, holding seed stock. Can be quite sought after for flower arranging too.

Another great plant is Comfrey. It is the gardeners go to plant for fixing soil and other things. It also has an old nickname of Knitbone. Being that it has medical properties aiding bone repair when used as a poultice.