Now is the perfect time of year for foraging! The hedgerows are full of fruits, nuts, rosehips and berries waiting to be picked. The blackberries seem to have done much better this year, probably because of the better weather in spring. Sloe berries are on the blackthorn bushes, but will taste better if left until after the first frosts. Be inspired by the season with these creations using foraged finds!
In the bathroom – blackberry face mask
The high levels of vitamins and antioxidants in blackberries make them a fantastic ingredient for a fresh, seasonal homemade face mask. Crush the berries with a pestle and mortar and then mix with kaolin clay, which will help to draw impurities out of the skin. Then mix with a little water to form a paste, apply to skin, and wash off after about 10 minutes, or when the mask hardens.
In the craft room – pine cone autumn trees and dried apples
Pick up some pine cones on your autumn walks through the woodlands and turn them into these cute seasonal decorations. Simply push mini red, orange and yellow pom poms into the spaces on the cone. If you don’t have pom poms, small balls of scrunched up tissue paper work too.
The first apples are now ready for picking, but you might be looking for something to do with the apples that have fallen but aren’t really good enough quality to eat. Dried apple slices are as easy to make as dried orange and lemon slices, and make a nice addition to seasonal crafts such as autumn wreaths, as an embellishment for natural gift wrapping and homemade body care gifts. Find out how to make them here.
In the kitchen – apple shrunken heads and apple and blackberry crumble
Because Halloween is coming up next month, instead of apple slices at the moment I’m making these apple shrunken heads! You can find the full tutorial from Tesco. If you use good quality apples they can be used to make a spooky addition to a cup of apple juice!
And use the best apples and blackberries you find to make this delicious blackberry and apple crumble. BBC Good Food has a quick and easy recipe!
In the garden – homegrown hazelnuts and sunflower seeds
Last year I planted two hazel trees. They’re not supposed to fruit until they’re about four years old, but one of them has managed to produce two (!) hazelnuts this year! I’m not holding out much hope that I will get them before the squirrels do, but you never know, since there’s only two maybe they won’t notice them! If you’d like to have a go at growing your own hazelnuts, Grow Veg has lots of useful information.
As I’ve shared before, this year I’ve attempted growing Russian Giant sunflowers for the first time. The two survivors are now setting seed. After taking this photo, I wrapped a bag around the head of the sunflower to catch any seeds that ripen and fall. If you do this, just make sure it’s watertight.