Foraginglondon's Blog

For all your foraging needs in London

Autumn foraging and RHS talk 18/10/2013

October brought with it some beautiful clear days  which were just perfect for foraging late blackberries, Hawthorn and Rosehip.

October is also the end of harvest season and the Royal Horticultural Society invited Foraging London to speak at the RHS London Harvest Festival. At the festival, alongside the vegetable growing competition display (see images below) there was a ‘wild food’ area, where the RHS invited Yun Hider, Claudio Bincoletto and yours truly to display and talk about foraging.

In my 30min slot I explained how we came to foraging, what and where we forage and what we do with the fruit and herbs we forage. It was great to inspire people to look beyond the supermarket and explore their local parks for some food.

Here are some pictures from the festival:

2013-10-08 14.47.22 2013-10-08 14.47.53 2013-10-08 14.51.42 2013-10-08 15.21.51-1 2013-10-08 15.23.58-1 2013-10-08 14.52.21 2013-10-08 15.14.51-1

After the talks there was a ‘Late’ event. There was booze, folk music and a special performance by the London Vegetable Orchestra:

2013-10-08 18.56.31-1 2013-10-08 17.25.27-1

The festival was an inspiring event and hopefully we will be invited back next year.


Sharing the knowledge at the RHS London Harvest Festival 07/10/2013

Exciting times are upon us. Foraging London has been invited to speak at the RHS London Harvest Festival, 8-9 October. Shira will be giving a 30min talk about urban foraging around 16:00 on both days. If you are around, come say hi.

There is also a ‘Late’ event on 8 October, with original cocktails and all things harvest.

Besides that, We have been out foraging, collecting late Blackberries and Hawthorn. It’s a bumper crop this year so why not go out and collect some where you are?  The Elderberry is coming to the end of it’s season but you may find some ripe, fruiting trees on Hampstead Heath and higher places in London.

The Rosehip and Sloe berries are looking beautiful too, but will be picked later in the month.

2013-09-30 17.04.41-1

Hawthorn Ketchup recipe coming soon.


Talking about foraging on tow paths on BBC London 94.9FM Radio 29/04/2013

Filed under: foraging,london — foraginglondon @ 23:18
Tags: , , , ,

Interview on BBC London 94.9 about foraging on canal tow paths


Apple and Sage Butter 23/10/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,london,sage — foraginglondon @ 19:46

Here is something a little different to do with your apples. Get yourself up to Hampstead Heath, and in particular the Pergola. Here you will find a plethora of common herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, marjoram, but in this case Sage. There’s loads of it, enough to go round our little circle of readers.

Again this is a recipe taken from ‘The Home Orchard Cookery Book‘ by Gillian Painter.

Apple and Sage jam

Apple and Sage jam


2 kg apples

1 chopped onion

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon pepper

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage or 3 tablespoons of dried sage

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons vinegar

50 grams butter


Chopped apples into quarters and cook with onion and water in a covered pan till soft. Sieve the mixture and return the puree to the pan and cook till thick. Add all other ingredients and continue to cook, stirring often till no free liquid remains. Pour into jars and seal when cold.


Pear Marmalade 21/10/2010

Filed under: foraging,london — foraginglondon @ 10:44

I decided to make Pear Marmalade after getting a glut of pears I helped pick as part of ‘Local Fruit Harvesters.’ If you want to help pick fruit in the Willesden/Kilburn (as well as other areas) then contact Michael Stuart.

So what to do with several kilos of pears. My girlfriend got a book off a friend, which has many traditional fruit recipes in it. It is called ‘The Home Orchard Cookery Book‘ by Gillian Painter. I strongly recommend it, as it has loads of recipes for apples, pears and even a few for crab apples, the little red things on the trees in many London streets, that do not get picked, but fall onto the street below, get mushed into the pavement and create an unsightly mess that only the pigeons seem to enjoy.

I decided to make Pear Marmalade using the following recipe:


3 kg pears

4 oranges

1 lemon

3 c water

3 kg sugar


Peel oranges and lemon finely and soak peel overnight in water. Peel pears and cut up finely, add orange and lemon pulp and juice, sprinkle with sugar and leave overnight. Next day put it all in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer till pears are soft and yellow and mixture sets on a saucer. Below are some photos from this recipe

Pear Marmalade

Pear Marmalade coming to the boil

The pear marmalade finally jarred

Pear Marmalade jarred

Please be aware of the following: Pears are low in pectin. Pectin is mainly contained in the peel and core of fruit, and is what binds them together. Pears are low in this, and as I found it does not set. I stupidly tried to jar 13 of them before realising. What I did was boil up some crab apples to make some pectin, and also added some jam sugar, though think this is what burned to the bottom of the pan. I suggest adding either jam sugar (more expensive than regular sugar, but easily available in supermarkets) or make some homemade pectin from the many un-used crab apples in London.


My granddad is halfway through his first year and has given the thumbs up. He is veteren of decades too many to mention so if he likes it then I reckon you will too.


Foraging London 10/08/2010

Filed under: foraging,google,london,maps — foraginglondon @ 13:57
Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: