Sunday, 16 September 2012

~Fruit foraging at Towton~

L and I are home alone today as OH and J are away at Cub Camp, so we took Small Dog for a nice long walk.  Despite only living 4 miles from the site of the Battle of  Towton, the renowned bloodiest battle on English soil which took place on Palm Sunday in 1461, I've never walked the fields or stopped to explore.  It's especially interesting as one of L's A Levels is Early Modern History, so it's a bit like having your own tour guide on the Wars of the Roses and the monarchy.  It was a beautiful sunny morning to take the time to walk the route; there are fantastic information boards all the way round. Visit the Towton Battlefield Society website here There's an evocative video (only 3 minutes long)  narrated by Robert Hardy, who is the patron of the society, which gives you a real idea of the landscape that snowy day and the brutal realities of the battle.
I couldn't resist a bit of foraging as there were some sloes and blackberries (albeit small).  Many of the blackberries are still not ripe.  The eldeberries were nice and black so I picked a few, due to the teenager rolling her eyes and losing patience with me as I scrambled into the hedge (getting nettled) with my carrier bag...    This was the result...

I do get enthusuastic about nature and the landscape and use the word * amazing...*  a lot, which exasperates L as well!
I actually prefer Damson Gin to Sloe Gin, damsons are a great fruit for preserves and liqueurs, although my little tree, Damson 'Merryweather' only yielded about 1lb of decent fruit, the rest of it suffered rotting and disease. I wrote a post about making Damson Cheese last year see here.
So today, I've made a blackberry and apple crumble and also set some Hedgerow Vodka going....

I got some great advice on making fruit liqueurs here...


  1. The blackberries are quite poor round here too this year, they seem rather late and a lot of the flowers have rotted. Hedgerow vodka sounds delicious, we are going to make blackberry vodka again, but may have to resort to bought frozen berries the year! I'm going to check out the link you've given. Enjoy your crumble!

    Claire xx

  2. i took my little sister blackberrying on friday. We actually had a good haul. As we speak I have some bramble jelly on the go. Yum yum, I love crumble xxx

  3. As you know, I'm not far from Towton either, but I've never walked the fields. My son visited with primary school when he was doing a project about the battle. We used to visit The Rockingham Arms fairly often for fish and chips though. We haven't been for ages, I might have to suggest an outing now I've remembered it.

  4. I havent walked the fields of Towton either but its a place we visited a lot as kids.My mum and dad used to take us out there and tell us all about the battle.
    The fruit has been really poor this year hasnt it? My mum and dad have a Victoria plum tree that hasnt done anything much this year, yet last year was laden down with plums. I think we are going to plant our own in spring.

  5. Picking when i can find stuff - not leaving home without a plastic tub or two at the moment. Building up a stash in the freezer which will be jammed or ginned when there's enough!!

  6. That sounds a really interesting walk Sally, we sometimes don't realise what is right on our doorstep.
    I love foraging, the joy of finding stuff for free gives you such a buzz.
    Sally x

  7. I've promised sloes to a few friends, think I had better get my basket out!
    Carol xx

  8. I've loved reading your last two posts. I hope that you will still be blogging when you make the move to the coast as I'm looking forward to seeing your new home. All the best, JX

  9. Thank you Sally for taking the time to comment on my blog. Hedgerow vodka...sounds delicious! Rx


Please feel welcome to get in touch or leave a comment - I really appreciate it. Sally x