Thursday, 31 March 2011

Never Rob Another Man’s Rhubarb

Like most people, my first experience of foraging (other than in the garden) was picking wild blackberries in the garden or during trips to the countryside.

As a youngster, I was a keen tree climber and I enjoyed scrambling up trees to pick fruit. This was as true for trees in our garden, as it was for those in other people’s properties, although you naturally had to be more careful if you were trespassing.

Scrumping, as it used to be known (stealing and eating apples off someone else’s trees), was something of a rite of passage for many young children. It was generally seen as mischievous as opposed to a seriously crime although one could expect a clip round the ear if you were foolish enough to get caught.

As kids we used to delight in sneaking through other people’s properties unseen, or exploring as we used to call it. Naturally, during our intrepid expeditions we would occasionally need to stop and try some of the local produce (borrowed from our unwitting neighbour’s vegetable plots) en route, in order to stave off potential starvation and as a healthy precaution against things like scurvy.

Personally, I blame Peter Rabbit.

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