Foraging in autumn : going nutty on foraging …

After having realised the abundance of nature’s treasures that surrounds me … I was determined to go out and do a lot of foraging this year. So this year, I have decided that I shall spend less time tending to my balcony garden so that I can use some of that free time to go and forage for free food from nature.

Whereas in summer I had the pleasure of foraging for berries and plums … autumn is all about nuts!

Oh yes … this year, I went a little nutty … collecting all the different nuts that I could lay my hands on that are on offer by nature. And although I have now actively stopped looking for them … as I have shifted my focus onto foraging for mushrooms … I still pick them whenever I happen to chance upon any edible nuts during my little excursions to the woods.

And these are some of the nuts that I have had the pleasure of collecting (and then eating, of course!) this autumn.

DSCN2688.AHigh on my list of nuts to pick this autumn are hazelnuts. As I was a little too late to pick any last year … I started checking them out early this year so as to make sure that I would not miss them again. And this year, between the hubby and I, we managed to collect more than 1 kilogram worth in weight of wild and free hazelnuts.

Chestnuts

Second on my list, although equally important as they are our favourite, are chestnuts. While out walking and foraging for berries in summer (and having learnt to recognise the tree a little better), I realised that there are, in fact, a lot of chestnut trees in the nearby woods … as well as one that I could see from our balcony!  What a lovely surprise … 🙂

So this year, I went foraging for them from the nearby woods instead of having to take a train to our favourite haunt in Bouveret to collect some chestnuts. Unfortunately, being close to the city (with high resident population), I am not the only one collecting these little brown treasures. But despite the stiff competition, I was happy to have been able to collect more than 2 kilograms worth of chestnuts from the nearby woods. Okay lah … 🙂

Walnuts

Next on my list are walnuts. I am not exactly a fan of walnuts, but as I had seen earlier in summer that there were plenty of these nuts on the walnut tree below our balcony this year, I decided that I would go and pick some when they would start to fall. There were plenty more from a much bigger tree several hundred metres away from home … but as it grows in an area surrounded by tall grasses (which would make it more difficult to look for the nuts that had fallen), I decided that I would give the walnuts from that tree a miss lah!

Still … the hubby managed to bring home some when he went on his bicycle excursion to the village of Romainmôtier … so between us, we managed to collect more than 1 kilogram of walnuts.

SAM_0903.AAnd last but not least, although I had initially decided to give these nuts a miss this year, it was difficult to resist picking some when I saw so many of them on the ground during one of my foraging walks. This was especially so as the ones that I saw at Forêt du Jorat were much bigger than the ones that I had picked last year at Bois de Sauvabelin. So despite my best intention, I ended picking some of these beechnuts … just so that I could bring some home to try. Actually, they tasted pretty good.

Compare nuts

However, since they are very small, one has to pick and to peel a lot to make a decent meal out of the beechnuts.

So that sums up the different nuts that I have had the pleasure of collecting this autumn. Not a lot … but more than enough to keep me one happy nutty forager this year! 😀

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