FORAGING AND TASTING THE FRUITS OF LOCAL HEDGEROWS – FOURTH WEEK IN SEPTEMBER 2010

Although there is work to be done in the garden, this is the best time of year to go for a walk and see what else is growing, sometimes wild, but often as a legacy of some long gone gardener from a different era. Last Sunday, we gathered in Ballyboughal about 8 miles away to follow Ann Lynch, Ballyboughal Hedgerow School Co-ordinator, on a foraging walk.

Crab Apples and  apple varieties like ‘Sheep’s Nose’ indicate the presence of an old orchard or atleast a multi – purpose boundary hedge planted to provide food for the owner  aswell as marking a boundary. Ann has now collected together almost all the apples picked to make crab apple jelly with the permission of the landowner. Some of the crab apples never made it to the bags due to the very sociable horse which followed us around chewing on our apples as he went.

Dr Declan Doogue of the Dublin Field Naturalists’ Club again astounded us with his depth of knowledge in botany, local geography and history. I had not appreciated before how many species of Dog Rose can be found on a leisurely walk!

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