I thought the berry season was over with the frosts at the end of October, but with the air temperature in November so far above 0c I was able to harvest a few last blackberries (the bush has started flowering again) and 4 raspberries! Various pollinators had also emerged from hibernation including two hoverflies.
On Thursday this week we went for a forage locally as I’d heard reports that chantarelles were appearing after the rain….we didn’t see any edible fungi but there were large quantities of bilberries (blåbær), wild raspberries and even a bog where there were unpicked cloudberries, so we transferred our attentions to picking berries!
I neither use sugar nor do I have a freezer. My favourite way of preserving fruit is drying and the quickest way of drying fruit in an oven is by making fruit leather…simply boil the fruit to sterilise and mashing as you boil, then pour into an oven tray and dry for a few hours at about 40C!
Have just finished a batch of redcurrants (rips) and raspberries (bringebær). The raspberries were both wild red raspberries, an old Norwegian yellow (gulbringebær) and a cultivar “White Russian”
See last year’s blog on raspberry / bilberry leather here: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=13187
12th August Added pictures of leather made from cloudberries, bilberries and wild raspberries!
Fruit leather is a quick way to preserve a surplus of fruit. I neither use sugar nor Stevia and don’t have a freezer (by choice), so I dry a lot of fruit from the garden and nature . I had too many raspberries in the garden and also bilberries picked the other week in Hurdal. I just boiled and crushed the fruit with a little water and then poured it as a thin layer into an oven tray and dried at about 50C in an oven for a few hours! This is much quicker than drying the whole berries. The leather can then be kept in a cool dry place for several years. Delicious as a goody to offer visitors!
I used an old red raspberry, originally from the old railway station garden in Malvik, an old Norwegian yellow raspberry and “White Russian” (yellow with a white blush):
Late April 2017 and I finally got round to visit some folks in South Hampshire who I’d met at the Walled Kitchen Garden Forum weekend at Croome in 2015! I love enthusiastic people who are willing to take risks…Tim Phillips is one of these…in his own words “His once abandoned 19th century kitchen garden in Hampshire provides a fantastic environment for…Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc vines. The combination of gravel soils, Lymington’s maritime climate and the thermal properties of the walls offer a unique vine-growing opportunity from which both still and sparkling wines are crafted”.. (see http://www.charlieherring.com/)
On the day of my visit, Tim had been up all night keeping his vines from freezing by burning wood fires in the vineyard….this strategy seems to have saved the crop from a complete failure of the 2017 vintage :) This problem wasn’t restricted to England but also famous wine growing areas in France: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/29/in-pictures-french-farmers-use-fire-to-try-to-save-their-vineyards.html
I look forward to returning in a few years to view you sea kale production areas ;)