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Foraging

Aug. 14th, 2005 06:37 pm
jamjar: (buddha)
Have successfully returned from a trip to Nunhead Cemetery, my favourite cemetery or place of burial, with two containers of blackberries and several small pains from brambles and stinging nettles.

The weather`wasn't perfect, but it was nice. There were a few families with kids, someone else blackberrying and the usual walkers. Nunhead is still a working cemeter, though I didn't go that far up today.

Pictures here.
jamjar: (Default)
Went to Nunhead Cemetary to pick elderflowers to make elderflower cordial. Nunhead cemetary is a great cemetray. Well into it's second centuary, it has this overgrown, semi-decayed feel that means that it gets used to film horror movies periodically. I always forget how nice it is. There are some onderful Victorian gothic tombs, like minature houses or castles, built in the too much money, not enough taste style.

Later in summer, you can pick blackberries there. Braving the prickles and wearing tough genes, leaning over gravestones to find the nicest ones. My parents dug up a horseradish plant from there and replanted it in the garden. Horseradish is an ugly plant. The roots are thick, treelike things and the leaves look like overgrown weeds, but it's got a wonderful taste and fresh horseradish is probably the hottest thing I know. Just smelling it melts your brain and kills colds stone dead.
My brother used to break down branches from yew trees to make longbows. Yew and elder often grow in graveyards. I think they're unlucky or meant to keep ghosts away.
Back to the elder. It's too early for it, really, but the weather's been so sunny that some plants have already started to put out flowers. to get the best ones I'd need to be about two foot taller, but I do ok standing on tip toes and handy tree stumps. By the end I've got yellow pollen on my new blue jeans and enough elderflower to make one decent batch of cordial.

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