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Fall. Celtic mythology Halloween/Samhain

Edible leaves, flowers and fruits this season, including berries and mushrooms.

On Friday I went out for a walk in Tovil, Maidstone, an old historical part, in Crissbrook meadows and enjoyed the sound of the weir, ducks, coots and squirrels merrily chasing one another for lunch. I rambled up past an old stone wall to the field above overlooking the mill to find a wonderful little hawthorn tree laden with huge berries.

Neither these pretty pink and orange berries nor the bright pink clusters of berries are edible, above. Savouring that special sound of the leaves beneath my feet; light, crispy and often soggy and muddy and wet. On a pathway, alongside the river, a mother and child were walking along and I chose to return in the same direction, fresh water flowing, gushing from the weir. There was a perfect crop of nettles which I collected for an infusion and placed into a bag. A rosemary bush by the roadside looks in good health, so I snapped a twig off to add into the drink. Home for lunch and a hot drink: rinse and brew the leaves in fresh water with added rosemary sprig. which is the perfect caffeine-free pick-me-up. Nettles are rich in Iron and drinking them like this is a useful addition to our hydration during the cooler weather and to combat the drying effects of central heating . The rosemary oils made the water glossy and the impact was immediate. The soft nettle leaves are harmless and made a perfect addition to lunch with a tree herbal blend, a simple butternut squash soup and fruit.

After lunch, another walk along the river towards East Farliegh. All Along the bridge, children had painted a series of pebbles with designs and uplifting affirmations to bring joy and courage to passers by crossing the river, as a result of the Pandemic. What a great idea and discovery to those who look around. Pretty bright designs, with bold, love yourself, self care, peaceful messages painted on them, had been placed all along the walkway.
I walked left under the bridge and the smell of the cut nettles fills the air with a rich metallic scent (from their iron content). I’d collect some more on my return. A peaceful walk, admiring the colours, tree leaves and seeds dancing their way to earth.
Boats moored up with their little gated gardens and allotment plots. A kingfisher darted across; a flash of iridescent blue, into the woodlands on the opposite bank. 2 swans a – swimming, glided past. Comfrey with bright blue purple flowers, a slow berry bush and ivy in bloom growing up a large hazel tree. An hour in and I turned back to return to the house. Watching out for wildlife means observing new species as soon as possible; being observant in nature. I sang softly into the soft rain drizzle and Suddenly noticed a large bunch of new mushrooms with a central brown spot and delicate cap markings, followed by another huge cluster all around the base of a tree. Well camouflaged; unnoticed on my way up. Suddenly again, another 2 new fungi species, individual like on stalks, with a waxy flat cap and frilly feeling, open edged gills to touch. Finally, on the left, a small, weeping apple tree, laden with bramley apples, when all other trees had finished and beneath it sat a large bunny rabbit, munching away on an apple!

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Autumn Harvest

The Walking for Health group meets at Goldsmiths Community Centre in Downham and divides into groups of no more than x6 at Forster Park. This week we’ve noticed the trees are shedding their leaves, like mini solar panels, no longer required to harness the sunlight through photosynthesis via their chlorophyll, the leaves begin to loose this pigment and in so doing, reveals its bright colours. Beautiful flame reds, pinks, shades of yellow compete against the skyline.

A monthly Newspaper column. One of several old Cuttings from 40 yrs ago, depicting the weather

We’re thrilled that Forster Park has Commissioned us to design a new Sensory Garden for 2021 by the current rose garden area. This section has long been in need of a boost as the roses have been there since the last century. In its place we’ll plant scented, edible, touchy-feely plants to engage with all visitors and park users, plus we aim that Glendale will be planting a scented low hedge, natural raised beds, a willow arch and natural pathways, underfoot. Thank you to the Friends at Forster Memorial Park committee for selecting us to bring forward this new development! This week I’m researching local places, visiting the local hot composter Peter, Anne Marie (Lewisham Gardens). Next week I’m consulting together with Jordan, the Green Fund organiser and finally my good friend James and his wife for disability access and guide dog for the blind suitability.

This Saturday Effat and I lead a London National Park City Ranger foraging in Manor Park day out for the Lewisham Rangers. We’ll bring along a selection of wild harvested herbs to taste as well. It promises to be delicious!

We’re planning to launch our first KETO weight balance catering box, to support clients with immune System optimising meals.