During September, we delightedly set out into Stanfree Valley on a mission to forage upon the fruits of autumn. The first of the pickings were blackberries, which we made full use of at home – Blackberry crumble is amazing using freshly gathered berries. Some berries were portioned up and directly frozen. Last year, we identified locations were field mushrooms were growing. We revisited the fields and to our surprise (underneath the long grass), some lovely young field mushrooms were acquired and later cooked to accompany pasta. Caution: Please be careful when identifying and collecting wild mushrooms, some are extremely poisonous. We then noticed three Crab apple (gorgeous) trees on Oxcroft. Using a few books, we were able to research (The National Trust Hedgerow Cookbook) the ideal method of preservation. Within one hour, we made delicious Crab apple Jam. On a walk over sunny banks, we collected a few pounds of Sloe berries for our winter beverage (Sloes, Sugar and Vodka). Some more, larger wild apples were accrued as unspoiled wind fall. A friend of ours allowed us to visit his garden to collect a bagful of pears, some were pickled in cider vinegar and some were diced, portioned and frozen. The wild rose is an underestimated hedgerow fruit, containing lots of vitamins. It was an important source of vitamin C during the war. The hip of the Dog Rose (named after its historic use to treat bites from rabid dogs, hence its name Rosa Canina) is quite tricky to obtain. Its spiky foliage can certainly bite! Gloves are essential when picking the fruit. Be aware – The berries cannot be eaten raw and have an irritant effect if not handled suitably. We considered Rosehip wine and jelly, but our preferred recipe was Rosehip syrup. This is a versatile and sweet sauce to store in the cupboard. On a short trip outside the village, we pursued the quest for sweet chestnuts. Some nuts were saved for sowing locally and we are currently investigating ideas to store them for eating later on in the year. Making jam and preserves isn’t that difficult; don’t be swamped under by information. There are lots of books, holding countless recipes for free autumn fruit. Let them be guidelines. A good quality, thick metal based pan is essential but it’s a bit like bucket chemistry (sugar and a lemon required). Be careful to identify the right fruit, cook thoroughly and transfer into sterilized receptacles. Enjoy and stay safe.Love from Stanfree Valley Continue reading Time to Procure, Prepare and Preserve!
You don’t have to be the world’s best gardener, handyman and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Reusing old … Continue reading Stanfree Valley presents . . . . . UPCYCLING!
Happy 4th Birthday, Stanfree Valley Preservation Group! Our community group was established in 2016. Since then, we have achieved so much and we wish to continue thriving for many years. At the moment, very few events are being celebrated. However, we wish to share this with you, our supporters. We are looking forward to planning community health walks, children’s nature detective activities and seed & tree planting. It might not all happen this year, but we will do our best. …… whilst we continue to stay safe and well, nature around us is flourishing. … Continue reading Happy Birthday to…US! 🎂
Stanfree Valley Preservation Group and residents would like to thank all NHS, Care staff and Key workers for their hard work and efforts during this time. Stay Safe, Stay Well! #stayhome #staysafe #savelives Continue reading 🌈 A BIG Thank you!🌈
For something invisible to the human eye, the current impact and heartache caused by Covid-19 is beginning to be unbearable, … Continue reading Stanfree Valley wishes you Good Health
Having observed the scale of new housing developments in our area, we ask the question; are any of the new … Continue reading Sustainable living
“I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I … Continue reading Spring is almost here!
Now we have it. HS2 is threatening to go ahead but many of the future passengers it’s designed to benefit, … Continue reading The Ghastly Cloud of HS2
After putting out some bird feeders over the last couple of weeks, we are pleased to say that birds are … Continue reading The Big Garden Bird Watch – Part 2!
Whether you do it from your garden, or local Park, we should be getting out and recording our local wildlife. … Continue reading The Big Garden Bird Watch 2020!