Monday 30 August 2010


The rosehips are plentiful this year
and I'd love to make rosehip syrup
to see if it would have a Proustian effect,
(we were given it by the teaspoon in winter to ward off colds)
but I would hear a nagging voice saying,
'If we all thought it was OK to take just a few,
there'd be none left for others/the birds to enjoy.'

The River Cottage recipe calls for 1 kg
which isn't a few. 
I'd be stripping the bush clean.

I felt the same way about the little patch of wild garlic 
I found in spring.
Hugh would have had me gathering it wantonly
for a wild garlic risotto,
but in the crowded woods
I felt self-conscious taking just one flower.

Blackberries are fair game.
But proper foraging needs proper empty countryside.
We townies just have to play pretend.

Edited to add this wood pigeon gorging on elderberries
while its beautiful New Zealand cousin, the kereru
was feeding on the nikau palm 
next to Marilyn's caravan.


  1. Here's another Proustian moment for you, from my childhood: a teaspoon of rose hip syrup AFTER a teaspoon of cod liver oil. Vile.....

  2. You poor thing. Weren't you given Virol? At least that had some malt extract in it.

  3. Oh we just saw rosehips this weekend too but I don't pick til after the forst comes , my gramma told me not to pick til then for cetain veggies , fruits etc.
    I have never ever had the syrup ! I do wish to try though ☺
    I'm the same way I never over harvest and leave behind some for animals , birds , fairies etc. and just out of plain respect for the plant itself ☺
    what a lovely post I'm going to bookmark this ☺

  4. We in NZ were given a very foul mix called Lane's Emulsion which would taint the spoon so couldn't be used for anything else.
    I love your photos and also the illustration - this book is reminds me of the books my parents used to give me; sadly I don't have any of them now.
    Yes, if we all helped ourselves to the wild foods there wouldn't be much left at times.

  5. Virol...... bleuch! bleuch! B L E U C H!!!!! Re rosehips: In Scotland we used to get a week off school to pick them and then school got money for them.

  6. Some creatures ate all my damn blueberries before I got to them. Those rosehips are fair game.

    It's survival of the fittest as far as I'm concerned.

  7. OOOh - Delrosa and Minadex - loved them both. I'm salivating at the memory that has just brought forth - sorry too much info.

    (And to abandon Dewey is just sacrilege - no, no, NO!)