Archives February 2019

wild-food-to-forage-in-springtime-orchards-near-me

What foods can be Foraged in Springtime?

Foraging in Springtime is a great way to get to know the plants around you. Whether you want to broaden your palette or simply get a taste of the woods, foraging is a great way to get a taste of the outdoors. Dandelions, Wild Garlic, Sea beet and Chickweed are just a few of the many tasty plants that you will find in grassy patches during the months of Spring.

Lets get to know where to find, how to pick and how to prepare a few of our favourite edible plants at this time of the year.

Sea Beet

This wild green edible plant is easy to find by the coast. Boil it or steam it to get the best flavour. It is known as the cousin of spinach and packed full of nutrients. Look out for glossy, bright green leaves on your next coastal walk.

Cow Parsley

Look out for fern like leaves when foraging for cow parsley. This plant grows tall just before the summer months. It likes the shade and grassy areas. You will find umbrella like bunches of tiny white flowers on the tip. Dont pick cow parsley if you can’t identify it as it is often mistaken for more poisonous plants such as hemlock.

Wild Garlic

Also known as ramsons, you might smell this plant before you see it if you are wandering in the woods in springtime. In May it is very easy to identify with it;s pointy small white petaled flowers. Common uses for wild garlic include making homemade wild garlic pesto, chopping it into salads and adding it to soups to give an extra punch of flavour.

Elderflower

If you live near any organic fruit store or hipster cafe you may have stumbled upon Elderflower cordial or better yet Elderflower champagne. This fragrant plant comes bursting to life at Springtime. Usually found in hedgegrows, on the banks of rivers and in wild wooded areas, it is easy to identify. All you need to make homemade elderflower cordial is a little bit of patience as it takes time for the mixture to set. Find our tried and tested recipe here.

Dandelions

The health benefits of dandelions are now widely recognised. Containing plenty of antioxidants and vitamins this may be the most undervalued commonly found plant. This humble yellow flowers are often a source of pain for gardeners who like to keep their gardens clear of wild weeds. However dandelions are rich in pollen and nectar that feed the bees so try to hold off on mowing your lawn the second that spring arrives. To get your weekly does of dandelion, use it is a hot pot of tea or add the petals to your salads.

Nettles

Often feared for their stinging abilities, nettles are full of nutrition when picked at the right time of year. Most parks and wooded areas will have patches of nettles hanging around together in large crowds. They are rich in Vitamins C and K and contain more iron than spinach. Try this heart warming nettle soup recipe to get acquainted with this edible plant.

Linden Leaves

These nutrient packed leaves come from Linden trees. It has massive heart-shaped leaves with fragrant flowers that can be eaten fresh or dropped into any wild tea recipe. They are said to have relaxing properties like chamomile. Young Linden Leaves are a sweet addition to salads in spring and summertime.

If you have any plants to tell us about we would love to hear from fellow fruit and foraging enthusiasts.

easy-fruit-recipe-home-made-lemonade-orchards-near-me

Fruit Recipe: Homemade Lemonade

Many people associate fresh homemade lemonade juice with summertime but we believe this is an all year round fruit recipe. The perfect glass of lemonade will bring back childhood memories, quench your thirst and give you a zest for life (see what I done there). Here is our easy lemonade recipe to try at home.

Homemade Lemonade Ingredients and Utensils

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

5 large cups of cold water

7 Ripe lemons

A tray of ice cubes

Pitcher and tumbler glasses

First you need to thoroughly wash the lemons in warm water. Organic lemons are best or even better if you have an orchard nearby to pick your own.

Homemade-lemonade

Next use a peeler or a sharp knife to remove the peel. Don’t throw away the peels. The peels contain most of the calcium and Vitamin C so we use them whenever we can. Slice the peel into very thin slices with a sharp knife. Leave them to the side while you squeeze the juice from each lemon into a pot.

Place the pot on the stove on a gentle heat. Add the sugar now. Next pour in the water and allow it to simmer. While it is boiling add the lemon zest from 3 – 4 lemons. You can use the remaining peels for decoration when you are serving later.

Once the mixture has boiled put it in a container and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Serve with plenty of ice. Enjoy!

homemade-lemonade-orchards-near-me

Fruit Focus: 8 Interesting facts about Lemons

Keeping with our lemon theme for the week we have selected the top 8 interesting facts and uses for lemons that we could find. From cleaning with lemon juice to bleaching our hair blond, lemon is one hell of a versatile fruit.

We know that thousands of people flock to Menton in France every spring to celebrate the lemon at Fete du Citron but what other unique facts about lemons should we be aware of:

  • Did you know that Lemon trees can product up to 600 pounds of lemons per year
  • A few drops of lemon juice scattered over other fruits can prevent them from turning brown, keeping your fruit fresher for longer.
  • Women used lemon juice to make their lips red during the renaissance and squeeze it into their hair it blond in the Italian sunshine.
  • Lemon trees were a sign of prestige in Victorian times and would be a staple in wealthy Victorian homes.
  • During the Gold Rush in the 1840’s lemons and other citrus fruits were used to combat scurvy.
  • Lemon juice and rind is often used as an alternative product for cleaning surfaces.
  • If you slice up a lemon and leave it in a bowl in the fridge you can get rid of unwanted smells. If used correctly it can whiten and remove stains.
  • In Ayurveda practice it is common to drinking a glass of warm water with lemon in the morning.

If you have anymore interesting lemon facts to share we would love to hear your thoughts.

contact-us-button-orchards-near-me
lemon-festival-menton-france-fete-du-citron-fruit-lovers

Lemon Festival France “Fete du Citron”

When life gives you lemons, make sculptures out of them! The Lemon Festival in the stunning city of Menton on the french Riviera is the place to be in Springtime each year.

This fruit filled festival will capture your imagination. Join 60,000 festival goers in an ambitious celebration of the humble citrus fruits. The festival programme showcases the best sculptures made out of colourful citrus fruits. This is where art and fruit lovers will be in heaven. In this region, the mild climate allows for citrus fruits to grow year round so they know how to make the most of their crops.


WHEN DOES THE BATTLE OF THE ORANGES TAKE PLACE?

Fete du Citron takes place in the city of Menton in Springtime, usually at the end of February to Mid March.


HOW TO GET THERE

Fly to Nice and take a train for 40 minutes to the centre of Menton. Fly to Milan or Turin and jump on a train from there to Ivrea.


WHY GO TO MENTON

Menton is a coastal town on the French Riviera. It is not as well known as the celebrity packed towns of Cannes and Antibes but just as beautiful. This postcard picture town offers a taste of all that is on offer in Southern France. Here are a few of the top things to do in Menton:

  • Visit the Jean Cocteau Museum
  • Stroll through the Jardin Bioves with the fresh smelling citrus trees
  • Spend a night at the local casino
  • Take a dip in one of the many public and private beaches. 
  • citrus trees of the Palais Carnolès: collection of citrus trees 
  • Winding streets of the old town for a late night supper

For more information about the fruit and foraging tours please contact one of our travel specialists.

contact-us-button-orchards-near-me
romantic-european-getaways-orchards-near-me

8 Romantic European Getaways for Outdoor Lovers with Orchardsnearme.com


Are you thinking of taking your loved one of a trip of a lifetime? Whether you’re a couple looking for a great adventure, a foodie vacation or complete immersion in another culture we have chosen some of our top romantic European getaways for active couples.

For many, a romantic weekend means a city break exploring museums. For others, a cycle through the countryside and outdoor adventure awaits. If we had to choose we would always pick the nature trails that get us away from our phones and allow us to feel immersed in a new activity while spending some time out with our favourite person. If you are researching what to do for Valentines why not treat your loved one to a unique getaway that you both can look forward to. We have picked our favourite Orchards Near Me couples experiences:

1. DISCOVER THE VINEYARDS OF FRANCE

The region of Burgundy in France is the ideal location for a couple interested in food and wine. Everywhere you go you will find a taste of France on offer. From smelly cheeses, smooth bodied wines and endless croissants, what’s not to love about France. Touch down in Paris to start your trip off with a night in Europe’s romantic capital. We recommend a walk around the district of Montmartre where you are treated to your very own live art exhibition. Your tour in Burgundy will introduce you to the grapes of the region where you will have the opportunities to sample the delicious french cuisine. Stroll through the market stalls and sample the region’s prized wines.

2. LUXURIOUS TOWNS OF NORTHERN ITALY

Not far from the coastal city of Genoa is the romantic town of Alba. Renowned for it’s wine, truffles and peaches our tour in Northern Italy will delight your senses. Enjoy sampling the very best of fresh Italian produce while exploring the heart of the Langhe region.

GET A QUOTE

3. ENJOY PORT AND PESCITOS IN PORTUGAL

Would you like to discover the town that inspired J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter? Visit the city of Porto. This is a top foodie adventure where you will be treated to local dishes of Bacalau. On the second day you will travel to the heart of the Douro Valley for an unforgettable wine tasting experience with our local expert guides.

GET A QUOTE

4. FORAGE WITH FRIENDS IN IRELAND

Picking blackberries and other wild fruits and shellfish along the coastal landscapes of Ireland has to be a bucketlist experience. For this tour you will spend the day in the heart of old Ireland. Enjoy this laid back adventure, strolling along the coast, sampling fresh herbs and cooking your pickings with local guides.

GET A QUOTE

5. CIDER TASTING IN FRANCE

Explore the magical landscapes of Normandy of this delicious Cider tour. On this full day food and drink experience you will discover the pears producing some of Frances iconic ciders. If you are a fruit and cider lover then this is the perfect french adventure.

GET A QUOTE

6. SLEEP UNDER THE STARS IN PORTUGAL

Get off the beaten track with a remote excursion to the spectacular Alentejo region of Portugal. Renowned for its peaceful landscapes and aromatic herbs, this is one of only a few designated Dark sky, stargarzing destinations in Europe. A picnic under the stars is the perfect recipe for romance.

GET A QUOTE

7. TRUFFLE HUNTING IN TUSCANY

If you are a bit of a treasure hunter at heart than truffle hunting will be right up your street or perhaps the love of your life is a real foodie. Chefs and food lovers from around the world are mesmerised by the humble truffle that is difficult find and delicate to eat. On this tour you will enjoy meeting up with our local truffle hunter and sampling the famous truffles of the region.

GET A QUOTE

8. SECRET FLAVOURS OF PORTO

This food tour will give you and your loved one a true taste of food in Northern Portugal. Explore the cobbled streets of Porto, visit some of the best restaurants with our local guide. Finish with a sip or two of port at the lit up harbour. The colourful architecture, friendly people and mouth watering local dishes make this a firm favourite.

GET A QUOTE

For more information about any of our romantic european getaways please contact one of our travel team.

Select your currency
USD