September meet recap: Foraging with Penny the Peckham Pickler

Ever fancied picking a peck of peppers from a park and then maybe pickling them? This month’s meet was a fantastic foraging feast with a talk from Peckham’s very own Pickler, Penny.

In her talk, Penny gave us an insight into the huge variety of edible foods that can be found in and around London. She has come across a wide range of plants; from familiar apples, to unexpected kiwis – all the way to (apparently not so) exotic goji berries and things we’d never heard of like loquats. It was certainly an eye-opening experience – and we’ll be keeping our eyes open as we walk round our local parks and public places now that we know how much is out there!

Penny also spoke about the different kinds of herbal remedies, tinctures, teas and dried herbs found in her foraging adventures, such as red oil (made from St. John’s Wort or Hypericum) which can be used for soothing wounds and burns.

After the talk, Penny had provided a veritable smörgåsbord of homemade jams, jellies, pickles, chutney which were tried by eager Borough Belles with bread, cheese and wine on hand – with our customary teas, coffees and homemade cakes (photos of the contestant cakes for the Borough Belles Best Baker award now on the BBWI Facebook event page).

From apple and rosehip jelly to this Belle’s particular favourite: purple plum chutney, all were delicious and that much tastier knowing they’d only come from up the road.

Penny’s facebook page has lots of photographs and details on what she’s been up to.

If you fancy doing some foraging yourself, here are a few resources and links to get you going:

Here are some maps of London with fruit and nut trees marked:

If you’re interested in learning more about permaculture, the Permaculture Association is the place to look.

What about getting yourself a reference book to get going with? If you’re using Amazon, use our affiliated link on the right and Borough Belles will get a percentage (no extra cost to you)!

Happy foraging!



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