Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)

Pumpkins are a part of the gourd family which includes cucumbers, melons and courgettes. It is in fact a fruit, (they contain seeds), although they are usually regarded as vegetables. Pumpkin carving originated in Ireland, where turnips and potatoes were carved as part of Samhain. Once the Irish immigrated to America they discovered pumpkins, or […]

Crab apple (Malvus spp.)

Crab apple trees are the ancestors to the many varieties of cultivated apples which we enjoy today, and this year there is an abundance of them for the harvesting in our deciduous woods and amongst the hedgerows. Apples are excellent for digestion and are my “go to” fruit when I’m feeling poorly. The fruit contains […]

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

The word Urtica means “to burn” which is self explanatory and dioica means “two houses” which is a reference to the fact that the plant produces separate male or female flowers. Nettles are a powerhouse of nutrients and contain good amounts of vitamin C, iron, boron, magnesium and calcium. Traditionally used as a blood tonic […]

Rose hips (Rosaceae)

Another offering for this season are the abundant rose hips, found growing in our local hedgerows. Rosehips contain polyphenols and anthocyanins, which may ease joint inflammation and prevent further damage. It is good one to try if you suffer with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or joint pain. Most often enjoyed as rose hip syrup, this was […]

English Oak (Quercus robur)

I love the quintessential Oak tree which can be found growing in hedgerows and woods but is often seen in solitary splendour in the middle of fields and at the edge of valleys. The tree is firmly rooted in British culture and the Yule log, brought out from one year to another to warm the […]