This is my favourite time of year for food: when summer fruit are ripening. It presents some great opportunities for foraging in the city. Pop over to Joan Lambert’s PopcornHomestead to read my guest post concentrating on red mulberries and rose hips. Rugosa roses are frequently used in urban landscapes because they require minimal care and give a nice, fragrant show, but they also produce large, flavourful hips. My guest post features a recipe for delicious rose hip jelly and some suggestions for variations.
Also watch for ripening elderberries. In Guelph they can be found alongside the Speed and Eramosa Rivers. They ripen around Labour Day, but with this hot summer I expect them a little earlier. Now is the time to find a bush and keep an eye on it and harvest some before wildlife strips the branches. Birds love these berries.
Be sure to harvest safely and use common courtesy. Here are just a few things to bear in mind when foraging:
- Avoid harvesting anything in polluted or high traffic areas.
- If you want to harvest something on private property, ask permission of the owners (people are often happy to share or see their fruit go to good use).
- If you make preserves from the produce, share a jar with the property owners.
- Do not take more than a third of ripe fruit. Leave the rest for wildlife, which depend on this food for survival.
What are you finding to forage this season?