24 Oct 2012

Hestia .....finds an interesting thing

While I was out brambling* (and ripping my jacket), I found this Interesting Thing:

That's a glossy little black berry, about the size of a mint imperial, and its accompanying leaf.

I found a bush that had one solitary berry clinging on.  Where a bush has been stripped bare, that's a sure sign that what ever was there was really worth stripping <- foraging tip.  From someone who forages at the Co-op mainly.

But I didn't know what it was.

I had the slave Sonshine do some googling and it is Blackthorn.  Better known to foragers everywhere as Sloe.

It was growing at the side of a field and there is another tall bush (also devoid of berries!) nearby.  Although they can be planted as good thorny hedging, I think this is more a case of 'planting by bird poop'.

No wonder there were no berries left, there must be some illicit booze-making going on around here *looks round hopefully*  Christmas drinkies are going to be VERY interesting this year.

I've made a note of where the bushes are.

And next year.....I'll be ready.

*more of which on Friday :-)


  1. Yum, I luffs sloe gin :-)
    Well, most kinds of gin akshully :-D

  2. How very enterprising of you (and Sonshine). Good luck finding the Christmas stash ;D

    1. I may have to specially train up a sniffer dog. Or use Tartarus on a leash :-)

      Ali x

  3. My slow gin is steeping as we speak :)

  4. I love it that you write such beautiful peaces on such small, yet interesting things!

  5. Here in Kirkcudbrightshire there have been so few sloes or blackberries or raspberries that if we were relying on this year's crop for next year's Christmas tipples (I like my hedgerow liqueurs mature) we'd be sadly disappointed. Thankfully I still have a huge bag in the freezer from a glut I discovered on a visit to my old haunts in Suffolk last autumn, so my nearest and dearest WILL have their cockles warmed come December 2013. Phew.

  6. I forget to mention that you should never pick blackberries after 1st October as that's when the devil pees on them. Very important info!

  7. I knew it was a sloe immediately! Mmmmmm sloe gin. Mmmmmm.


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