Yesterday Big Brother and I set out for the afternoon in search of the last of the elderberries. I always enjoy our foraging outings, my Big Brother is about the only other person I know with the same level of enthusiasm I have for wild crafting, and with our combined knowledge we make a pretty darn good team. Big Brother also doesn’t have a wimpy bone in his body, and knows that sometimes treasure is over yonder through that bramble patch and the easiest way there is straight through. But that’s my Big Brother – he’s been breaking trail for me, in more ways than one, since I was old enough to follow.
Driving around yesterday we ended up doing a lot of visiting which, if you’ve never experienced it, is a most pleasant way to spend an afternoon when you live in the country. Like Big Brother said “You see how easy it is to get accidentally drunk?” :) (Don’t worry, we were fine to drive). With a storm rolling in and some good leads we set off to get serious about our foraging, only to find that the elderberries have been picked clean. Let this be a lesson: do not dilly-dally when it comes to elderberries. The birds won’t wait and neither should you. We did score in some other areas, and I am completely stoked with our found treasures.
Our first haul wasn’t really foraged as salvaged. We got these apples at our cousin’s place. He has a lot of old apple trees that he does nothing with, and most of these I just picked up off the ground. The rest I picked standing in the back of Big Brother’s truck. They are beauties, and there’s plenty more if I want them.
Our second haul came from an old wild apple tree that Big Brother calls “the good apple”. These are small and beat up, but sweet enough to eat when most wild apples just make you pucker up and give you the…well you know.
Just a stone’s throw away from the good apple we found a wild pear tree covered with these nice little pears. Actually it was hard to miss, the thing is just loaded! I had run out of bags by this time, so I’ll be going back to load up on these little gems. Not sure what I’m going to do with them right now, though. Is pear sauce any good? I’m open to suggestions.
Finally, there’s these babies. At one point these were cultivated grapes planted by a neighbour, but they’ve run wild and there were cluster after cluster of them. We left them for the time being, Big Brother and a friend are going to make wine from them.
All in all we didn’t do so much wild crafting as salvaging from days gone by, as even the wild apples and pears were most likely cultivated at some point. The fence rows of old farming communities like ours are filled with such things, planted and forgotten as the years roll on. I for one don’t mind reclaiming some of it. Free bushel of apples? Don’t mind if I do.