this handy calendar which lets you know what is in season when. Guess what: savoy cabbage is really in right now!) So far, vegetables have been no problem. But the trouble is that summer fruit - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc, - is expensive per se. A punnet of rasps may indeed be half their winter price, but they are still beyond my reach. Meanwhile, the cheaper fruit - especially apples and plums - has been both expensive and unappetising, because they are out of season. The result is that I have eaten hardly any fruit this summer at all.
Despite living in the middle of a city, but I have plans to do some foraging. Scotland's cold and wet climate does not lend itself to a bountiful hedgerow harvest, but it does have a few things to offer. In particular, very soon it will be bramble season in Scotland. These are not the plump and sweet blackberries that I have picked in Devon, for example, but they can jazz up some stewed fruit nevertheless. So I sent out a facebook message asking where I might find some within easy reach of a bus route. I now have three locations and an offer of a cup of tea! They are not ripe yet, so my informants tell me, but in another week or so they should be ready for picking.
I also need to check with my mother. We have a damson tree in the farmhouse garden, which produces fruit every other year. Damsons are extraordinarily strong and sour - Mother tried to feed us both a damson crumble once, which made our eyes cross - but when mixed in with some apple they make a nice change. Let's hope this is a damson year.
I am not sure what else is around that I could forage. I don't feel confident enough to identify mushrooms. I don't know of any edible nuts which grow up in this cold part of the country. I do know where I can find some wee blaeberries (bilberries), but I would need a car to get there, and it would involve a day of hill climbing. It seems to be a bit out of season for nettles or dandelion leaves, though these might be a good option come spring. I could beg my sister to let me harvest the rosehips from her hedge (though I can't do this until after the first frost), but even if I could work out how to prepare these, for the life of me I can't think how I would actually eat them. Maybe I am just making excuses - I don't know. If there are other possibilities out there for this time of year, I would love to hear them.
Still, damsons and brambles are a good start. And within a month or so, apple season ought to have begun proper. Huzzah, for my fruit deficiency is about to be rectified.
Total Expenditure: £9.15 (mostly on bus fares)