Our week that was: Family weekend, sand spray and fruit picking

Our week that was blog post banner

We had a visit from Justin’s sister this weekend; it’s been in the diary for ages, and we’ve been really looking forward to having her come to see us again.

Adelle and Rachel at Hafod Estate

Rachel’s visit

Rachel lives in Greater Manchester – a 4-hour drive away. She’s the one we stay with when we have our dentist appointments up in Todmorden, so we’re taking our turn in acting as hosts! We’ve been keeping our fingers & toes crossed for good weather while she was here. The weather forecast wasn’t great, but we did manage to enjoy a few dry and sunny spells when we were out walking.

We took her to the nearby Hafod Estate as she’d not been there before. We cobbled a walk together that took us through steep woodland, fields with highland cattle grazing and above and along the winding river Ystwyth.

River Ystwyth winding its way through Hafod

Another trip to the coast

Whenever she’s visited in the past, Rachel has enjoyed going for a walk along the beach. So, even though the forecast wasn’t great, we took a drive out to Ynyslas. As usual, we timed it so we would be there at low tide; the dog went completely bonkers, galloping along the long, wide sandy expanse.

Although it was really windy, there was a great, big, blue sky. It was so windy, in fact, that there was sand spray all the way along the beach; that’s how the famous sand dunes were formed!

Blackberry picking

The local hedgerows are currently heaving under the weight of blackberries. They’re like little glistening jewels crying out to be plucked and made into jam, jelly or apple & blackberry pie or crumble. I’ve already picked around 2 kilos and have put them into the freezer while I decide how I’m going to use them.

Blackberry bush Picked blackberries in a colander

Our week that was: Fruit, fungi and flowers

Our week that was blog post banner

Fruit, fungi and flowers, I just can’t help myself with the alliteration! But the last 7 days has been a week of picking; both out in the wild and in the garden.

Bilberries on a bush Picking bilberries

Free, foraged fruit

Summer fruit season has begun, and it’s a bumper year. I attribute that to the long, dry spell followed by the bountiful downpours. I’ve picked my full of bilberries and blackberries –  and it’s not even August yet. About a kilo of blackberries is currently residing in our freezer, and I’ve made a delicious fruit sponge pudding with the bilberries. I used my go-to upside-down cake recipe that works with almost any fruit.

Parasol mushroom growing in grass

Field fungi

Our Instragram feed has been lit up with photos of people’s fungi foraging exploits. We set out specially this week to one of our mushroom picking spots, in search of chanterelles. Alas, not a single one was to be found – perhaps in a couple of months time (which is when we’ve previously scored ourselves a paper bag full of the delicious mushrooms). I did, however, find and pick my first parasol mushroom of the season – it’s currently sliced and drying nicely in the kitchen.

Hydrangea 'Annabelle' Hydrangea 'Annabelle' in a white jug Hydrangea 'Annabelle' hanging upside-down to dry

Favourite flowers

Only a couple of years ago, our hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ was a half dead little thing sitting in the bargain box at a local garden centre. She consisted of 3 spindly little sticks and looked extremely sorry for herself. This year, she’s standing tall, proud and strong; producing a profusion of stems and blooms. We’ve put a handful of them in a white ironstone jug to enjoy indoors right now. A few other stems have been picked and are hanging upside-down, drying to display later on in the year.

Price Points: Foraging pouches

Foraging pouches

Justin bought me a pair of knives and some secateurs for Christmas this year. The secateurs are special as they’re designed for left-handers. Trying them out for the first time, I didn’t realise how odd it has felt pruning in the garden all these years.

The knives are for when I’m out walking and using to collect wild berries, nuts and fungi. Rather than simply slinging the knives in my coat pocket, I’d like one of these attractive foraging pouches to keep them safe… and for storing my elderflowers, bilberries, chestnuts and wild mushrooms.

  1. Bushcraft foraging pouch: £14.50, Etsy

    Made from 12oz quality British waxed canvas and secured with a wooden hazel toggle and strong 550 USA cordage. Belt loop is 2.5″. This foraging pouch is perfect for adventures and everyday use. Size approx 7.5″ wide by 9.5″ long.

  2. Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant: £28.98, Amazon

    This handmade foraging bag is made of high-quality water-repellent canvas, vintage style leather, and solid hardware parts

  3. TA foraging pouch: £49.99, TA Outdoors

    The handmade belt carry pouch is made from high quality premium 3mm veg tanned leather which has been hand cut, dyed and polished. The khaki green pouch itself is made from 8oz washed and waxed cotton canvas. It features solid brass rivets and press stud and it is fitted with a nylon drawstring and dyed wood toggle.

shop foraging pouches

Some of the links on our blog are affiliate links. We may receive a small commission - at no cost to you - if you click through and make a purchase.
Prices & links correct at time of publication.

TA foraging pouch
TA foraging pouch
£49.99
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
£28.98
Bushcraft foraging pouch
Bushcraft foraging pouch
£14.50
TA foraging pouch
TA foraging pouch
£49.99
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
£28.98
Bushcraft foraging pouch
Bushcraft foraging pouch
£14.50
TA foraging pouch
TA foraging pouch
£49.99
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
£28.98
Bushcraft foraging pouch
Bushcraft foraging pouch
£14.50
TA foraging pouch
TA foraging pouch
£49.99
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
£28.98
Bushcraft foraging pouch
Bushcraft foraging pouch
£14.50
TA foraging pouch
TA foraging pouch
£49.99
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
Leather & canvas foraging pouch, collapsible, water resistant
£28.98
Bushcraft foraging pouch
Bushcraft foraging pouch
£14.50

Price Points: Mushroom knives

Mushroom knives

I always keep bags in my coat pockets in case I come across wild food on my dog walks in fields and woodland; blackberries, elderflowers, bilberries and the like.

October and November are peak months for fungi foraging. This year has been a good one for parasols, porcinis and horse mushrooms round these parts. With some mushrooms, you really need to slice them at the base, otherwise they may crumble or break when you try to lift them. As well as a bag, it’s a good idea to walk with one of these mushroom knives.

A good knife will be small, lightweight, sharp and have a brush to get rid of dirt and debris. The mushroom-shaped, keyring example is portable and very cute. The French company, Opinel, has the reputation as being the brand-leader and their N°08 model is an absolute beaut!

  1. Mushroom tool keychain: £14.95, NOTHS
  2. Mushroom foraging knife: £22.50, Etsy
  3. Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case: £39.95, Amazon

The Opinel N°08 mushroom knife is the ultimate tool for foraging. It will accompany you on all your outings in the forest, and will fulfil several purposes. For all nature and mushroom lovers, this is your new best friend!

shop mushroom knives

Some of the links on our blog are affiliate links. We may receive a small commission - at no cost to you - if you click through and make a purchase.
Prices & links correct at time of publication.

Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
£39.95
Mushroom foraging knife
Mushroom foraging knife
£22.50
Mushroom tool keychain
Mushroom tool keychain
£14.95
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
£39.95
Mushroom foraging knife
Mushroom foraging knife
£22.50
Mushroom tool keychain
Mushroom tool keychain
£14.95
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
£39.95
Mushroom foraging knife
Mushroom foraging knife
£22.50
Mushroom tool keychain
Mushroom tool keychain
£14.95
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
£39.95
Mushroom foraging knife
Mushroom foraging knife
£22.50
Mushroom tool keychain
Mushroom tool keychain
£14.95
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
Opinel N°08 pocket knife + sheath in case
£39.95
Mushroom foraging knife
Mushroom foraging knife
£22.50
Mushroom tool keychain
Mushroom tool keychain
£14.95