Hedgerows: doesn’t that sound so very…English? I confess to a certain admiration for the long gardening tradition of the British isles, and I readily admit having a huge crush on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. But hedgerows. I can’t claim to have hedgerows here in Michigan. For one, our property lines only go back about 100 years (not nearly long enough for a proper hedge) and two, ours are poison ivy- and bramble-filled ditches, not something as tempting a foraging target as some misty Cotswold or Yorkshire hedgerow.
But it is the season for elderflowers, the pretty creamy-white blossoms of the black elderberry. And–wonder of wonders–I have elderberry bushes in the hedges ditches around my property. So! Time to get out the scissors and the wading boots (all the better to fend off the poison ivy tendrils) and get snipping.
In honor of another Dorset bloke who’s a champion hedgerow forager, I made some of Hedgewizard’s elderflower champagne this week, as well as elderflower crepes. It will be a while before the fizzy, nonalcoholic champagne can be sipped and enjoyed, but boy did those crepes get eaten quickly! Our gooseberries are near ripening, too, so it’s time to try Hugh’s Elderflower/Gooseberry fool.
It is quite fun harvesting food from the farm I had no hand in growing, you know? Just watch the poison ivy, which, alas, is not edible.