School has started and the seasons are changing which can only mean one thing; coughs and colds are on their way! But how clever are the seasons to deliver us such a goody bag of medicinal supplies which you can forage right here in Dorset to prepare us for the winter sniffles. Elderberries are a firm favourite of ours for homemade syrup to treat those sniffs and snivvles (& to make the odd cocktail!) so we're sharing our elderberry syrup recipe with you on the blog just in time before they all disappear.
Get picking peeps & if you don't know what you're looking for join one of our foraging courses in Dorset, we will show you how to identify wild food along the seashore & amongst the hedgerows and you will learn the medicinal properties of wild plants and how to prepare them. Our next foraging course is this Saturday September 16th 1.30 - 16.30 £40pp adults and £20pp children, see our special events page for details of what else we have coming up.
This syrup is so scrummy and with just three main ingredients, water, elderberries and honey it couldn't be simpler. Elderberries have been used in folk medicine for centuries and they are considered well known for their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant health benefits.
That is why every September we make a whole batch of elderberry syrup to keep our immune system strong and help avoid or aid the recovery of viruses. You can take the syrup like medicine or add to desserts, cocktails or combine with pressed apple juice to make the most delicious jelly (our favourite!)
Time: up to 1 hour (+ foraging time)
Makes: 1 x 1/2 ltr bottle
300g of elderberries
Take the berries off the stalks and add water to the pan
You can also add spices at this stage, we use ginger, cinnamon and cloves, add lemon juice to take down the sweetness if required.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 - 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
Mash the berries into the liquid to release any remaining juice and then leave to cool.
Once the mixture is cool strain through muslin and then add the honey.
Add to sterilized jars and store in a dark place or fridge and take a small spoonful once or twice a day to see you through winter.
If you can, use local raw honey which is thought to have more superior anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties which can strengthen a person's immune system, and reduce pollen allergy symptoms because it contains pollen that is specific to your area.
Raw honey is different to the mass-produced type because it has not been pasteurised, heated or processed and is packed with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants. But if you can't get it don't panic there is so many health benefits that you will gain from the syrup it's still 100% worth taking!
And if you're feeling fit as a fiddle then it must be time for a cocktail.....
Tickets for our new Autumn and Winter wild food adventures have just been launched and early birds get a 10%
discount if they book before October 13th!
Book your seat now before they all go...
Learn the tricks of our trade and let us give you a guide to starting (and keeping!) the fire going, our top trained bushcraft buffs will put you through your paces using various fire lighting skills, including trying your hand at flint and steel. We will also be running other bushcraft workshops from woodcraft, shelters and water purification techniques.
Once you’ve mastered the skills we will show you what foraged foodie finds are out there before using a variety of camp fire techniques to cook up a whole heap of tasty foraged finds in a hearty stew over flame to feast on. All food included
We have some super talent on board the Fore wagon and there will be a few special creators and guest chefs working with us on this years feasts to make doubly sure the evenings sing to a very high tune. Before we sit down to a 3 course meal, guests will take part in a foraging walk & demos to see how your super supper & wild cocktails were created so you leave us with happy tummies and some nuggets of wisdom too! All food, welcome wild cocktail & wine with the meal included.
Here's what our customers said about our last Forage & Feast event....
"A big thank-you to all the team for a memorable afternoon and evening. It was interesting to learn about sea fishing, seaweed and wild plants, and the setting, food and company in the evening was truly special. I've decided to pluck up the courage to try a short kayaking lesson, and would love to try the woodland foraging you mentioned. I'll keep an eye open for your newsletter." Julia
"Just to say thank you for a lovely afternoon evening on Saturday for the forage and feast, we learnt about different edible sea weeds, what to forage and eat in the hedgerow, a try at fishing, and then up to the pavilion set in a private garden, for a glorious 3 course supper cooked for us. it looked so inviting as we approached the pavilion, and of course it is set in the most stunning location, with the sea, the isle of wight and bournemouth on the horizon. We met with some lovely people on the evening, something fun and different to do. although we are locals we learnt a lot and would recommend this experience, the staff are lovely, friendly, and work very hard at what they do, and you can tell they believe in the whole ethos of the courses." Kate & John
Hop on over to our Forage & Feast page to find out more or just go ahead and book your seat using the code earlybird_feast10