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/ Wild foods

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wildcamperuk on 03 Dec 2017
Greatings. I am interested in wild foods. There are berries growing in my garden. They grow from an ivy style plant covering a wall. Can you identify what berries these are and are they edible?
Identify berries photo https://ibb.co/kTLBnw

I cannot identify them from the berries page on this website.

Thank you !
davidbeynon on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to wildcamperuk:

I'm no gardner but it looks fairly similar to a cherry laurel I used to have in my garden. If it is then eating it wouldn't be a good idea.
Chris Harris - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to wildcamperuk:

It's ivy. Definitely not edible.
womblingfree on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to wildcamperuk:

It'll bring late summer and early autumn bees to your garden
davidbeynon on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

I never noticed fruit on ivy before, and my old house was covered with it. Shows how observant I am
richprideaux - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to wildcamperuk:

Ivy. Don't eat them...

Gardens are also rubbish places to look for 'wild food' as a lot of cultivated species are quite toxic.

The best urban foraging is well away from any kind of gardening activity in my experience.
Chris Harris - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to womblingfree:

> It'll bring late summer and early autumn bees to your garden

They also attract flies in large numbers. There's one in the OP's pic.
Moley on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to wildcamperuk:

Looks like ivy, don't eat.
The ivy flower is quite important to wildlife at this time of year being full of nectar and pollen, at night (mild and dark night) if you go out with a torch you can pick up the eyes of moths that are feeding on the flowers. Then the ivy berry is a great food scource for birds.
pasbury on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to wildcamperuk:

I reckon the ‘ivy style plant’ is Ivy.

Are you redbullextremer in pastoral mode?
wildcamperuk on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:

Great. Thank yous. I too have never before seen berries on Ivy until this.

Can you suggest some really good internet wild food reference webpages or/and the grail of wild food books. I have a little pocket book you may like to look up and find useful called 'Food for free' ISBN: 978-0-00-718303-6 Which is a good one to take camping

I suppose some berries can be boiled or treated through the cooking process. Rosehip I think is one. Sure know about Rosehip wine.

What to eat and what to avoid has always baffled me and how do people know and how did people find out in the first place. I mean did someone eat a berry/piece of mushroom and vomit letting others know to avoid?

How does one get a Ray Mears brain? or at least some grounding of information he has.

Sorry off topic however this explains my premise for asking about berries/wild food in general...

Also where to find wild foods when land is being taken up by housing estates, Corporations and concrete jungles.
We are forced to eat Government meat, vegetables and fruit and pay with promissory slave tokens to exist. I think community farms are way to go. Human energy directly in to get energy directly out cutting out corporations (dead speak legal fictional persons). And there we go, a thought for life.

Peace, fellow humans.
Billhook - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:
Food For Free by Richard Mabey was the 1st book of its kind I think. But if you have that I'd get interested in plants. So off you go and buy Collins Guide to Plants!. Knowing what is out there will help you recognise the edible ones in Mabey's book and of course the non edible ones.

How do you get a R.Mears brain? by simply going out there and finding out as much as you can about plants, trees, their fruits, roots, habitats and so on.

Knowing plant habitats and being able to identify them is equally important. Its a wasted effort if you can identify, for example crowberry if can't identify the type of heathland it grows on and so on.

Then of course you need to know how to prepare and cook them, so off you go. That should keep you occupied for a while. ;-)

I'm afraid I haven't got clue about your references to government forcing us to eat 'government' meat etc., We get ours from the local butcher. And he buys it from Lal Pierson's farm up the valley.
Post edited at 16:54
defaid - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:
Getting a Ray Mears brain is just a matter of booking some bushcraft courses and then going out to practise what you've been shown. Try googling 'bushcraft courses uk'. It's best to attend a course first so that you have some idea of what you should and shouldn't do out in the wild.

For food, try these two books:

Kitchen recipies using (and beautiful photography of) food made from wild stuff:
'Wild Food' by Roger Phillips
ISBN: 978-1447249962

Getting your own when you don't have a kitchen (this is probably where you want to start):
'Wild Food' by Ray Mears
ISBN: 978-0340827918

And for completeness, the original, which you already have. Still in print since 1972 and recently revised:
'Food for Free' by Richard Mabey
ISBN: 978-0007183036

Best get a couple of good plant identification books too. I use an old 'Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe' by Fitter, Fitter & Blamey but it's illustrated with paintings and I more or less know what I'm looking at anway. I think DK and Collins both do some good photographic guides and if you have a phone, you can always search online while you're out foraging...

My daughter and I spent an afternoon some years ago eating cherries from trees on a housing estate in Telford, to the horror of the locals, some of whom wanted to call an ambulance ready for when we keeled over. They all knew that red berries are poisonous (and that cherries grow in boxes). The trees had been there for years and the locals had no idea what was right outside their front doors. We then disgusted them further by having a cherry-stone spitting competition... ;)

D
Post edited at 17:05
Moley on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:

I have noticed fruit trees planted alongside motorways, amongst all the other tree varieties. The apples do look rather tempting but obviously pulling up on the hard shoulder of the M4 to go scrumping apples is not to be encouraged. But if one had local access from the adjacent fields, why not?
At first I thought them a waste of apples as nobody harvests them, but they will provide food for birds and mammals through the early winter, so altogether a god thing.
Billhook - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to defaid:

A long, long time ago when I was about 20 and long before 'buschraft' became a hobby I was really into 'wild food'. One day waiting at Malton bus station I noticed a youngish lime tree next to the bus stand where I was. Feeling peckish, I started picking some of the younger leaves and stuffing them in my mouth when I noticed the rest of the queue were giving me some funny looks.......
marsbar - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:

If in doubt don't is the safest rule.

Some info here



http://www.countrylovers.co.uk/wfs/wfsberries.htm
John W - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to defaid:

I get the same horrified/bewildered looks when harvesting the cherries from the trees on the golf course.

captain paranoia - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to defaid:

> Getting a Ray Mears brain is just a matter of booking some bushcraft courses

Or reading a book. And then going out, armed with said book, and learning to recognise the plants in the wild.

I like the little Collins pocket guides.

Victoria plums, damsons & bullaces are often to be found in urban environments.

Apples are a mixed bag, since the edible varieties are all cloned, and grafted onto rootstock; naturally-propagated apple trees produce fruits with random flavour...

Bilberries in Alps and UK upland (even the Downs) are a treat. Then there's wild garlic.

Our new offices have a large walnut in the park. I saw it heavy with nuts, only to see them systematically stripped by a couple of squirrels. Bastards...
Post edited at 19:32
Ron Rees Davies - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:

> Also where to find wild foods when land is being taken up by housing estates, Corporations and concrete jungles.
> We are forced to eat Government meat, vegetables and fruit and pay with promissory slave tokens to exist. I think community farms are way to go. Human energy directly in to get energy directly out cutting out corporations

You need to apply to the council for an allotment. It won't stop you having to use slave tokens to buy meat and vegetables from that corrupt bastard, Lord Tesco, but your mind will be so full of worrying how to keep pigeons away from your broccoli and stopping tomatoes getting potato blight that you'll no longer have time to care.
mbh - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to marsbar:

Nuts are a safer bet. Can't go wrong with chestnuts and hazelnuts.
Ron Rees Davies - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to captain paranoia:

I used to work as a locum, and in the autumn would choose work placements based on local fruit trees!

> Victoria plums, damsons & bullaces are often to be found in urban environments.
I once went into a supermarket in Woking. They were selling damsons for £2 a punnet. I had just taken 3 carrier bags full from their carpark and was only there to get more bags.....

> Apples are a mixed bag, since the edible varieties are all cloned, and grafted onto rootstock; naturally-propagated apple trees produce fruits with random flavour...

Not so good if you're after eating apples, but all comes down to knowing where the good trees are. Pretty much any apples can be pulped for cider though. I made 400 litres from wild apples in 2008.

aln - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Moley:

> I have noticed fruit trees planted alongside motorways...so altogether a god thing.

Indeed he moves in mysterious ways

mbh - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> You need to apply to the council for an allotment. It won't stop you having to use slave tokens to buy meat and vegetables from that corrupt bastard, Lord Tesco, but your mind will be so full of worrying how to keep pigeons away from your broccoli and stopping tomatoes getting potato blight that you'll no longer have time to care.

Too right. How am I to stop that b*stard rabbit that has burrowed right into my polytunnel? It ate all the dwarf beans I planted outside last year, leaving me only the 'bumper' crop from the four seedlings left over that I planted in the tunnel. Now it has sussed how to get in there, what am I to do? On rabbits, I'm now with Mr McGregor. As for tomatoes and their blight, I despair!
Ron Rees Davies - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to mbh:

Hmmm... I can just imagine the advert......
This is not just rabbit, this is Organic, bean-reared rabbit......

Hanging baskets is allegedly the way to grow blight free outdoor tomatoes, and the one tomato I grew that way last year tasted really good ;)
deepsoup - on 11 Jan 2018
Bulls Crack - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to John W:

I'll be harvesting mulberries from a recently discovered tree in my home town. Only really discovered them last year  - scarce though

richprideaux - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:

> Great. Thank yous. I too have never before seen berries on Ivy until this.
> Can you suggest some really good internet wild food reference webpages or/and the grail of wild food books. I have a little pocket book you may like to look up and find useful called 'Food for free' ISBN: 978-0-00-718303-6 Which is a good one to take camping

Food For Free is useful as long as you already know the name of the plant/flower/thing. It's actually best to start with something like a wild flower key that allows you to identify something by visual characteristics (Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe, Podlech and Lippert, about halfway down this blog post: http://originaloutdoors.co.uk/bushcraft-general/ten-foraging-books-you-need-on-your-shelf/)

> I suppose some berries can be boiled or treated through the cooking process. Rosehip I think is one. Sure know about Rosehip wine.

There are plenty of edible berries (fruits), some much improved after a little processing:

- Blackberry
- Raspberry
- Cherry
- Strawberry
- Sloes
- Rosehips
- Apples (Crab Apples for the best sour-face experience)
- Plums
- Gooseberries
- Bilberry
- Sea Buckthorn

All of the above can be found at different times of year on publicly accessible land in NE Wales, and the most other places south of Glasgow

> What to eat and what to avoid has always baffled me and how do people know and how did people find out in the first place. I mean did someone eat a berry/piece of mushroom and vomit letting others know to avoid?

Everything we know about food is built on a legacy of lots and lots of dead people.

> How does one get a Ray Mears brain? or at least some grounding of information he has.

By cribbing from Mors Kochanski? :-p

There are plenty of people who have knowledge that matches and surpasses Ray (also rememebr that when you make a TV show you have the luxury of writing a script first). It's intense knowledge about a subject you are interested in/field you work in. I know sod-all about aircraft systems programming, beekeeping or underwater pipe inspection. I've never worked in those fields, but I know people who can talk all day about them.

> Sorry off topic however this explains my premise for asking about berries/wild food in general...
> Also where to find wild foods when land is being taken up by housing estates, Corporations and concrete jungles.

Abandoned urban areas are great for foraging. I've found more edible wild plants on scumy edges of urban canals than I have in edge-grazed organic farmland.

> We are forced to eat Government meat, vegetables and fruit and pay with promissory slave tokens to exist. I think community farms are way to go. Human energy directly in to get energy directly out cutting out corporations (dead speak legal fictional persons). And there we go, a thought for life.

We've worked out a way to sustain our population beyond the ecosystem that can continue to support it. Many would think this is a bad thing. I'm potentially in favour of a light cull, just not anyone I know, love or would possibly know and love.

> Peace, fellow humans.

Indeed. Give me a bell if you want some pointers on foraging. I literally make a living from talking about it (but also happily do it for free).

 

goatee - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to wildcamperuk:

As has been said it is Ivy. Ivy has two different types of leaves on the same plant. Leaves on new growth are quite different to ones on older mature branches. Leave those berries there. A good source of food for birds, especially in the winter.

John W - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Yep, got a mulberry bush at the golf course as well - lovely fruit, but a bugger to get the juice/dye off your clothes!

Moley on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to John W:

Why do we not plant more of these old type fruiting trees in the UK? Mulberry are lovely fruit, I remember them from past places we have lived and there must be much you can do with the fruit?

We moved here and planted a quince and medlar tree, had our first single quince this year (the frost had the rest of the crop), quince jam is fantastic. Hopefully the medlar will start to bear fruit in the next couple of years, we've also planted usual selection of apple, pear, cherry.

It seems such a waste when I see back gardens consisting of a patch of grass and a few flower tubs - plant a fruit tree in there!


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