Yesterday I decided to go back to the ‘secret garden’. I call it that, as its very close to where I live, but so well hidden I have never stumbled across it before.
The site consists of 5 acres of land, some broken down outbuildings and the main house which has fallen into disrepair, as you can see from the image below.
I was lucky enough to meet the farmer of some nearby land, who informed me that the house used to be owned by an old chap who grew many fruits and used to sell them on the road side. Sadly, he passed away about 10 years ago, and the house was purchased and done up to a really high standard. The person who purchased the house then never returned and in just 7 years the house has been reclaimed by nature. It does seem strange that someone would go to the trouble of buying it, doing it up and then leaving, especially as the price tag of just the land stands at £350.000!!!
Anyway, getting back to the wild food, or feral food would be a more accurate description for most of it. These are a list of just a few things I either found, or saw signs of.
Fruits and Nuts
Plum trees – Bullace - Damson
Apples (many very old and rare varieties)
St John’s Wort
Plus many others!
One thing that did annoy me though was the fact that someone had come along and taken all the plums that I saw the other day! Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s good to see that people are foraging, and in fact in the past week I have seen three people foraging for plums. And the fact that someone beat me to it is just one of those things, but whoever harvested them took every single one! It’s really important to only take what you need. I can’t stress this enough. Wildlife relies on wild food even more than we do, and what with habitat destruction it’s very important to leave some for nature. I knew of another place laden with them, so I went there instead. I took one small basket full, which didn’t even make a dent.
Well, I will leave you with some pictures from my short foraging trip (about 15 minutes to be exact).
Catch you on the trail