Autumn, described as the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ by poet John Keats, is upon us and for fans of foraging, there’s no better time of year.
Nature is currently gifting food at every turn from hedgerows laden with hazelnuts, elderflowers and richly-ripened sloes to fields dotted with early morning mushrooms. We also owe autumn a thank you for the blackberry, a powerful antioxidant with seeds rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Delicious fresh but also great in jams, cakes, bakes and crumbles. We have sweet and savoury recipes to inspire a forage for the fruit, which you can find down lanes, in woods, by railway sidings – just about anywhere right now!
Ode to Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless.
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells.
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.