Elderberries and others

Both Casey and Angelina asked what elderberries look like. I could describe them as being like small black pellets that hang down in clusters of about fifty.  No, far better to wander into the garden and take a photo.

So I did.

On the way, to the elder, I found a whole lot more fallen apples. I gathered them. Then I found more blackberries. I spent time picking them. Back in the kitchen, I set them all aside for a crumble.

Camera in hand, I headed out again.

Out again in the garden, I couldn’t help thinking about all the goodness I harvest from our garden. Apart from the obvious kitchen garden plants. The garden provides such diversity and, on the whole, I spend no time carefully nuturing it. So long as I don’t cut it down, it grows. There are so many plants, I do nothing with, which flourish. Most I have not identified, but they are all growing in my garden. I photographed four of them, that I could be using. They are (clockwise from top left) nettle, rose hip, haw and fat hen. Any fat hen, that I do find, usually is given to the hens. All these plants have lots of uses, but I just let them grow.

We also have plenty of fungi, which again I do not pick. I used to pick lots of field mushrooms and shaggy ink caps. I would cook them and eat. I used to go mushroom picking with a french friend and collect mushrooms that I only ever knew the french names for (so have now forgotten!) Then, one day, I went on a day course at a local university, to learn how to identify mushrooms. Hoping to identifying more interesting varietes to eat. By the end of the day, I was terrified of picking any fungi, let alone feeding them to anyone. My confidence gone, I have never collected mushrooms since.

Finally, after a few distractions, I reached the elderberries. They are beginning to go over now, so they are not hanging down in clusters. The black berries have a diameter of about 1/4th of an inch (0.5 cm). They have a tiny pip, the size of a grape pip, which is supposed to be bitter (I’m going to skip testing this fact). All sorts of medical claims are made for elderberries. Most seem to suggest that it strengthens your immune system to fight off a cold. Having tasted the syrup, I can imagine that it would be very soothing for a sore throat. Who knows. Maybe I’ll be enthused to make double next year.

12 thoughts on “Elderberries and others

  • Wednesday 15 September, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you! Now I know. 🙂

    • Thursday 16 September, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      I wish I’d taken a photo when they were looking better. I’m sure I will next year.

  • Thursday 16 September, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Thank you for sharing your lovely photos.

    • Thursday 16 September, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      I’m glad you like them.

  • Thursday 16 September, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    That mushroom is just too beautiful!!! Love it!!! But wouldn’t eat it!!!

    • Thursday 16 September, 2010 at 8:11 pm

      No fear of me eating them. It was ten years ago, but I’m still not keen on gathering mushrooms.

  • Saturday 18 September, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Missed a lot due to computer problems, hopefully sorted now! Looks like you’ve been very busy in the kitchen and I love your recent swap!

    • Sunday 19 September, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      So much to process, in the kitchen, at the moment and I really don’t want to waste a moment.

  • Saturday 18 September, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    I have just got around to checking my favourite blogs after an amazingly exhausting week and it is clear to see that Autumn has arrived while I have been absent – I have been busy using the bounty of the hedgerows today, isn’t it a wonderful time of year! 😀

    • Sunday 19 September, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Its all worth it when I look in the cupboards and freezer, and see how much I’ve put away. Yeh, for Autumn!

  • Friday 24 September, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Hello Cheryl! I am reading on down through your lovely posts here and had to say hello : ) Your photos are so lovely and I appreciate seeing a more detailed look of elderberries. I have seen many creating a syrup from them and some a drink etc. and I just do not recognize this berry around my home and I wish it did grow here. It reminds me of a pokeberry… Off to do more research, I think it is wonderful that you are using this healthful berry! Happy weekend : )

    • Friday 24 September, 2010 at 11:15 pm

      The elderberry syrup tastes so nice that it seems an added extra that it has all these health attributes attributed to it. Elderberry syrup is on my seasonal “make-it” list from now on. I hope the pokeberry proves just as wonderful. Enjoy your weekend.

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