Saturday 10 September 2011

Picknik #1

Today at noon we met on Southampton Little Common, for the first of our Urbane ForagerPickniks”.

Let's Get Picking!
We had around 10 people turn up, including friends, children and some folk from the Transition Network. A fairly large branch had been broken off the tree by inconsiderate pickers beforehand, so we knew we had to be careful.
The Apples Soon Start Building Up
The big apple tree was loaded with fat, rosy fruit high up in the canopy but all the lower ones had been taken. Fortunately we were well equipped with apple pickers and some great children, who could climb like monkeys.
Someone Call Monkey World
The weather held out, despite reports of heavy rain, so we started collecting the lovely big apples. After a good load of fruit had accumulated, we had a short break for our picnic but the kids were soon gagging to get back up the tree.
More Challenging Than a Climbing Frame
Everyone filled their bags and baskets and I filled my builder’s buckets with 45Kgs of the best ones I could get my paws on, some of them were huge. We should have enough to store plenty and still have some left for cider making.
Nice Picker Action
As we left, other people were arriving to pick more fruit and there was plenty still left on the tree.
It's a Hand Picked Whopper
Word of the Urbane Forager must be spreading because a woman came up to me as we were leaving and asked where she might find Sloes and Blackberries on the common. I pointed out that it was still a tad early yet for sloes but blackberries can be found all over the place.
Look, No Hands
Traditionally, you pick sloes (to make Sloe Gin amongst other things) after the first frost, so lots of time to hunt them down. However, if you really can’t wait, you can cheat, by picking them early and sticking them through the freezer...
Looking Forward To Picknik #2 Next Weekend


  1. I've made three jars of chutney and two crumbles so far with my apples. I'll have more chutney on its way once I get some more jars.

    Plus, I was so excited that I went out and bought myself a fruit picker! I'm hoping to rope more kids into it soon--nephew and niece, plus children of work colleagues too. We'll have a ball!

  2. That is fantastic news Megan.
    I hope you can make it to Picknik #2 this Saturday too.
    I'm getting excited about it because I have never visited this tree before - there is a walnut tree close by too, so we could always check on that too.
    Alan aka the Urbane Forager