Wild Wild Eating


There’s a little ‘copse’ of wild cherry trees (Prunus avium)  in one corner of the allotment. Most years I scarcely notice the fruit. The cherries are usually less than half the size of a cultivated cherry, and more stone than flesh. But this summer there has been a magnificent crop, and I’m afraid I’ve been grabbing handfuls as I pass, stuffing them in my mouth, and spitting out the stones willy-nilly.  Delicious, but most uncouth, and doubtless my regardless foraging activities will give rise to a whole new forest.


And why not? These native British trees are very beautiful; quite stately in habit and tall with handsome chestnut coloured trunks. Hitherto my dealings with them had been confined to autumn when I go and rake up the leaf fall to make compost. And what a golden harvest it is. The leaves are very lovely; so much so, I often feel they should be edible too. I have yet to try them. In the meantime, the Woodland Trust has more to say about the Wild Cherry.



Square Perspective #16

38 thoughts on “Wild Wild Eating

  1. You. have taken me back to my scrumping days when I was a naughty child. Growing up in Kent we were surrounded with orchards…and although I had plenty of cherries at home, somehow scrumping made them taste so much better:). Also very good for us.

  2. oh wow! i would do exactly what you’re doing Tish! i couldn’t think of any other way! fun and carefree! 🙂
    “I’m afraid I’ve been grabbing handfuls as I pass, stuffing them in my mouth, and spitting out the stones willy-nilly. Delicious, but most uncouth, and doubtless my regardless foraging activities will give rise to a whole new forest.”

  3. Beautiful photos, especially the middle one. It reminded me of our annual crop of blackberries that line much of our daily forest/river walk. First the flowers and now the new green berries indicate another bumper crop. Come late August we’ll be munching our way through our walk.

  4. This is a gorgeous scene, not only the photos but the narrative. Funny, I can relate as we have a couple cherry trees that have never borne fruit but this year they have: not because of the weather but because we had some other, larger trees taken out and now the fruit trees get more light. So the nice outcome isn’t fruit for us, but all the neighborhood birds, crows…and get this: even a black bear we spotted in the daytime ambling up our road, this week! Lovely scene there Tish…and here’s to “uncouth.” And copses.

  5. Lovely photos Tish; my mouth is watering. I met a chap recently who makes a living selling, and teaching about, foraged food. There is so much in the world that is edible, growing naturally and without human intervention. I can’t help thinking that foraging is a skill we’re all going to need before too long.

    1. There’s much to be said for foraging, though when it comes to fungi one needs a good tutor. Richard Mabey’s now vintage book ‘Food for Free’ started my interest, and especially for the combo of gin/vodka and sloe berries! Definitely might need some of that this winter. Our government is now threatening us all with death for Christmas. I mean it’s so good for the immune system to be stirred into a state of unrelenting and elevating anxiety 😦
      It might be better if they told us to get out in the sun, fresh air and learn how to forage.

      1. Oh Tish, I’m so sorry to hear that. Dr Su suggests as much outdoor time, home-grown and foraged food as possible, and a wee nip of sloe gin to be taken as required. And sending kiwi hugs

  6. Oooooh …. how thrilling!
    I love this idea of eating in the wild – I only have a few springs of green onion to harvest from my Balcony Gardens but that will have to do for excitement.

    1. The birds are eating them to some extent, if the droppings near the tree are anything to go by. Also there was, until recently cleared, a little forest of cherry tree saplings across one end of the allotment. I’m pretty sure I can’t take the credit for all of them 🙂 🙂

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