A recent report in the Telegraph suggested this year's harvest may be scarce. Fortunate enough to have blackthorn trees among those in the hedgerow at the bottom of our garden, and if the numbers here are any guide, the rumors appear to be true.
While it's traditional to wait until the first frost, with a possible shortage on our hands, it's a case of 'needs must' and foraging started early - before the birds take the lion's share, not to mention the other foragers...
Although we live in a built up area, a two minute walk takes you into the hedgerows of the countryside.
Early signs were disheartening. Either poor yields, or fruits which were held aloft, twelve foot from the ground and completely inaccessible.
But it wasn't long before we came across a tree willing to give up its fruit. And it was laden with berries. We collected 3lb from that one tree, no bother at all, and there were still more to give.
|This year's sloes|
I can't believe I was only introduced to this drink a few years ago, but it's immediately become a regular in our household. If I get organised a bit earlier next year, blackberry brandy might be the next one to try.