late summer forage in the axe valley

Summer now enters into the late flush of pregnancy. Before the bountiful harvest of early autumn. It is a lovely, peaceful time of year. A time when fine weather precedes the autumn storms. Soon to come no doubt.

A short walk around the lower Axe Valley, weaving around the flat, flood plain’s old byways. The thick air across the sunny water and hay meadows is hazy and lazy. It is easy to forget that this land can quickly become submerged and treacherous near the banks of the gently snaking river. It is the time of the early blackberry harvest. It comes sooner to these warm, low, flatlands – unlike the brutal stubborn-ness of Dartmoor’s late season. But before the berries, nuts and fungi of autumn’s generous larder kick in, the pickings from field and hedgrow can seem thin. Not so around bucolic Whitford I discovered.

A very short walk yielded twenty-five different species of edible plant. Showing that there is food to be had for those with a keen eye. Below are pictures of some of these plants.

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(Please bear in mind that you should not use these as a guide to what is edible or poisonous – use a proper guide and have a good knowledge of edible and poisonous plants and which parts of the plant can be used safely. Many of the plants shown here have cautions or contra-indications or need further processing to make safe . Please also refer to my foraging hints, tips and safety advice here)

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