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As the light begins the fade, the last of the summer fruits provide one last bounty. Autumn is renowned for harvesting with foraging being one of the ultimate activities for this season. Dorset has plenty of places to discover treasures hidden under the trees and leaves.
Fore Adventure are based in Studland, near Swanage, and run foraging and bush craft courses year round. Jade and Dan, the founders of this unique business share with Dream Cottages their top foraging foods for Autumn.
Berries are found in the plentiful during the Autumn months and are perfect for foraging, especially beginners.
The most well-loved hedgerow berry has to be the blackberry. Not only is it a brilliant activity for families to forage together,this berry has many uses when bought home. Popular recipes include apple and blackberry crumble, perfect after a hearty roast dinner on a Sunday as well as blackberry jam and jelly.
This berry is also perfect made into ice-cream or sorbet, cordials, beers and syrups. Infusing gin and other spirits is a popular use of the berry. Fore Adventure love making blackberry lemonade during their Forage & Feast events.
Another popular hedgerow berry is the Elderberry. These can be found in similar places to blackberries such as hedgerows and present as small purple-black berries hanging in a cluster. This berry is also great to add to crumbles, jams, chutneys and sauces but it’s also a fantastic natural remedy.
Many a hawthorn berry can be found across the Purbecks this Autumn in the heaths and downs. Although they taste like under ripe apples, they are high in bioflavonoids which are great for your heart!
Rosehips are full of vitamin C and were actually collected by the bucket-load during the second world war as a replacement for citrus fruits. They are commonly made into herbal tea which tastes delicious with mint leaves, oozing goodness. Infused vinegar is also a popular recipe along with wine. Similar to Hawthorn berries, they are found in scrubland and county trail walks.
This nut is a perfect snack for a woodland walk of which Dorset has many. Hazelnuts are a tasty treat to discover but can also be used in the everyday kitchen. They are gorgeous roasted and can be added to flour for bread making and cakes.
Not to be confused with conkers (horse chestnut) which is inedible. Sweet chestnuts are more of a savoury snack but give a caramelised taste. These nuts are extra tasty added to stews and soups.
Mushrooms are just as fun to forage for during Autumn as much as any other nut, fruit or berry. There are particular guidelines to follow. Be sure to Identify your foraged mushrooms before picking and eating, there are various guide books to help you. Better still Fore Adventure recommend joining a guided course with an expert forager to learn your mushrooms before attempting to go it alone.
With chocolate box cottages nestled in pretty villages, to properties overlooking the Jurassic coast and everything in between, you will find a perfect cosy match with us. View our properties and book your stay, today!
Fore Adventure host four seasonal forage and feasts throughout the year. Book now for the festive forage and feast on 7th December.