Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The annual Bilberry haul

Nipstone Rock
The Stiperstones

Mountain Ash


One of my favourite foraging outings is bilberry picking. Probably because you have to go high up in the  hills to go bilberry picking, and that's where I love to be.
Our regular bilberry spot is Nipstone Rock, which is part of the Stiperstones just over the border in Shropshire.
The pink of the heather and the deep purple bilberries in the late summer light...
The boys enjoying the juicy feast, and searching for the plumpest berries. When they tire of that, they enjoy practicing their rock climbing skills on the (lower!) craggy peaks.
K and F use a berry picking comb to reap their harvest, while I carefully pluck mine by hand. My method is incredibly slow but without the twigs and leaves that the comb also seems to collect! K does deserve the credit for picking 90% of our haul with remarkable speed and efficiency!
On our return, the berries are put onto trays and picked over, (by me!) to remove any of the said leaves and twigs, and popped into the freezer. The bilberries are bagged up the following day. This is a great way of ensuring we have lots of bilberry pies, crumbles and muffins over the coming months.
Not all are frozen though, as the fridge is full of bowls of fresh berries, for a week of bilberry delights!

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