Well, who'd have thought that the raw foodist could come out on top in times of financial crisis?
Everyone's always banging on about how expensive organic produce is, blah, blah, blah, but they really weren't taking into account the bonus of foraging, AKA free food!
And no, by foraging, I do not mean jumping someone's fence and raiding their apple tree, stealing a school kid's pack lunch or standing outside Waitrose at closing time. I mean legally free, free for everyone... if you know where to look.
My husband and I have become like wild birds scouring the landscape for brightly coloured berries, our eyes attuned to edible undergrowth, through the camouflage of brambles, nettles (also edible) and grasses. Like magpies searching for shiny treasure we always have our beady eye on the prize.
Currently camper-vanning around France and Spain, we have consumed some of the most delicious wild walnuts I have ever eaten, along with a whole host of other delights, such as almonds, figs, apples, mint, rosemary and even kale (as displayed in a strange little town we passed in France that had used it as decorative foliage in the town square!)
Back in the UK, we have just passed some of the most abundant months, where even in London one can fill up on the wild blackberries that scatter the hedgerows, parks and banks of the river Thames. This can save whopping amounts of cash, as we all know how much a tiny punnet of berries can cost from the supermarket. You may not feel like surviving solely on blackberries, but the money you save (if you pick the gargantuan amounts we do) can go a long way towards other scrumptious organic produce.
Foraging is one thing, but picking from your own garden or from friendly giving neighbours is another bonus. We picked enough raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and blackberries last summer to survive the whole year in the freezer. They make amazing smoothies and raw ice cream, as well as just being yummy to nibble on.
Before our current adventure we raided the apple, pear and plum trees in my parents' garden; that was a month ago and we're only just finishing the last of the pears now.
I know it's now autumnal October, but prime your calendars for next year, after all we have only just finished the mammoth batch of wild foraged vegan garlic pesto I made back in springtime.
Unaware of quite how delicious it was going to taste and how well it would last, I definitely could have made more. Next year I will be better prepared with even more jars and perhaps an even bigger fridge!