August 18th – In spite of my earlier feeling that we were in for a thin harvest, the hedgerows and woodlands are laden with berries, nuts and fruit this year. I noted on Brownhills Common that the elderberries were now showing well and in abundance, which is good news for local winemakers, who will produce a dark red, strong and face-numbing drink from these shiny, dark berries.
And long may it continue!
August 7th – One of the surprises of the summer for me has been the surprisingly bountiful harvest of many berries, nuts and fruits: I would have thought that the dry spell would have meant fruit was more sparse.
Elderberries are a case in point. I think the fruit may eventually be smaller, but there is a huge quantity ripening in the warm sun. These are all in Victoria Park, Darlaston where the bushes are absolutely laden.
Going to be a good year for home wine-makers aI think.
August 22nd – The Elderberry crop looks decent this year, which is always a good sign for local home-brew winemakers.
I will be out collecting buckets of these tiny back juice laden berries for a relative to perform the usual magic of transforming this bitter, black harvest into a dizzying, beautiful dark red nectar.
They also make a wonderful sight as a roll around the area.
The oncoming autumn is lovely when you stop fighting it…
September 26th – There’s still a bountiful crop of elderberries for the taking out in the hedgerows, thickets and copses of the area. I spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon getting very red fingers collecting for a family winemaker.
Elderberries make a gorgeously dark, potent wine that in the the hands of a skilled winemaker can be way better than any shop-bought red wine.
One of the benefits of autumn!
August 17th – Another marker of impending autumn – the elderberries are turning to shiny black perfection at Shelfield. These days, these bitter fruits are in great demand for home-made wine and jams, but they used to be mostly left for the birds.
They’re such perfect, beautiful fruits.