fruit picking

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Blackberry Season: Blackberry and Basil Salad Recipe

As foragers we love to discover rare plants and wild edibles all year round but the months of August and September are extra special. These are prime harvest months in Europe. Vines are weighed down with grapes and bushes are filled to the brim with ripe berries ready to be picked.

To celebrate one of our favourite times of the year when all of the blackberries start to appear on the bushes we will be telling you our top blackberry recipes each week for the next six weeks.

We will start with a blackberry and basil salad that we recently tried out for friends.

I can safely say that the mixture of sweet and fresh ingredients makes this wild salad recipe extra special.

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INGREDIENTS

Fresh wild blackberries
1/2 red Onion finely sliced
Foraged Seabeet and Lettuce Leaves
Feta Cheese
Toasted Almonds
Basil Leaves
Balsamic Vinegar

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pick the berries and basil leaves. This is the most important part of the preparation. There are plenty of berries around at the moment. Head to the countryside or a nearby park with your foraging basket and enjoy spending time with nature. We grow basil at home so it’s easy to pick off our leaves.
  2. Gather the other ingredients from your local store and wash all of the greens and berries.
  3. Carefully slice half an onion into thin slices
  4. Cut the almond nuts in half and toast them lightly in a hot pan.
  5. Cut the feta cheese into cubes.
  6. Mix all of the ingredients in your salad bowl
  7. Sprinkle a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar over the top.

Fresh, seasonal and super tasty this is the perfect addition to any dinner party or weekend brunch.

We have some delicious blackberry recipes to share in the coming weeks so stay tuned and look forward to hearing some feedback. If you have any top berry recipes to share please get in touch.

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7 reasons to visit France for Nature

The world’s most visited country is blessed with stunning countryside landscapes, farms, fairy-tale cities and the french riviera. When visiting France your senses will come alive. From smelling the sweet vineyards of Burgundy to the pear fields of Normandy. This country is a food lovers paradise.

Renowned around the world for it’s fashion and romance, Paris is a must stop place to visit on your journey to France. The romantic capital is filled with public squares, spectacular architecture and the most delicious foods. Although the Eiffel Tower continues to be one of the most talked about visitor attractions in Europe, there is a lot more to see outside of the capital and we want to get you back to the natural landscape.

If you are looking for a flavour of France then venturing to the countryside will give you a taste of the land. Join us for unique food and orchard experiences in France. From the fruit filled vineyards of Burgundy to the luxurious champagne region to the orchards of Normandy, there is something for every nature lover in France.

Boasting a number of historically famous painters, philosophers and writers, France is a land of cultural gems. Starting in the culture packed centre of Paris you can travel to some of the charming surrounding regions.

  1. Picturesque villages

You are not going to be bored in France. You can get busy and cultural in cities like Paris, Lille, Lyon, Dijon, Marseille, just to name a few big French cities. You can reach a nice countryside, take your time, enjoy local specialities, take part in harvest…vineyards are waiting for you …Beaujolais, Cote du Rhone, and other countryside experience in Provence, Alsace….just choose the part of France you want to see first and enjoy its charm and beauty! Then I bet you will fell in love and continue to explore more of this stunning country.

2. French Cuisine

Pastry heaven with croissants and bagettes dripping from bakers windows. French food is elegant and comforting all in one. From the delicate crepes to the freshly plucked escargot, there is something sophisticated about the food culture in France. Each time you get a taste of the fresh produce and classic dishes you are creating long lasting memories. Bon appétit!’

3. Endless Vineyards

At Orchardsnearme.com we are all about the vino and the wine regions in France are first class. The deep red “vin rouge” of Burgundy to the sparkling Champagne region, there is so many flavours of wine on offer in France. In certain regions of France, you can sip on wine from grapes grown on the very land you’re stood on. Head to Bordeaux for the best red wines and the Champagne region for the iconic bubbly. Join our wine filled adventure in Burgundy.

4. The weather

It never gets too cold in the South of France – but man, does it get hot. If you want to see the spectacular blue waters of the Mediterranean or stroll along the Promenades des Anglais in Nice without getting a layer of skin burnt off, now’s the time to come. It’s warm enough to sit on a chaise longue all day and read a book; yet still chilly enough at night to wear that fabulous sweater you packed. Cole Porter might have loved Paris in the springtime, but nothing beats the South of France on a sunny day.

5. Art & Heritage

From the Mona Lisa to the Eiffel Tower we all know that France is synonymous with art and culture. There’s the famous battle sites of the Somme and the D-Day landings, as well as the stunning chateaux, churches and cathedrals that decorate the landscape. Avignon, Canal du Midi and Loire Valley are just 3 of the 39 Unesco world heritage sites that make France special.

6. Cafe Culture

Everywhere you go in France you will find charming cafes dotted along the side streets where you can grab a café au lait and let the world pass you by. If you are really living the French fantasy you may have a philosophy book or a journal with your musings with you.

7. Orchards and Country life

The idealised version of rural life in France isn’t a dream for the locals who enjoy the stunning countryside everyday. France is the ideal destination if you are looking to escape city life for a break. Cycle the fruit trail of Normandy to soak up the french lifetyle, visit some of the wonderful orchards and get a glimpse into history at the imperial war museums and d-day beaches.

From historic towns to the smell of fresh bread to miles of perfectly manicured vineyards you can’t help but fall in love with the french landscape. We are interested to hear your top tips when visiting France.

C’est magnifique!

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

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Coffee beans aren’t actually beans

Did you know that coffee beans are actually seeds? They come from a small cherry red fruit! Our favourite morning beverage comes from a fruit plant.

Dating back to the 15th century, drinking coffee has a long history. It was founded first in Kaffa, a medieval kingdom in Ethopia and known as an effective way to suppress appetite back in the day. coffee-fruit-coffee-beans-did-you-know-orchards-near-me-min

Today small coffee farmers from around the world rely on these coffee plants to make a living. As the world leader in coffee production Brazil harvest over 3 billion coffee plants.

To promote an eco-friendly approach to your coffee consumption look out for Fair trade coffee suppliers and shade grown brands of coffee. The alternative approach to production is known as sun cultivation which involved deforestation, pollution and a lot of chemical festilizers.

A newly planted coffee tree can take up to seven years to produce the fruitful berries. On average it will take 3 – 4 years. The fruit is called a coffee cherry and it often picked by hand. The seeds are removed and dried. This can take up to several weeks. Roasting the green coffee turns it into the brown aromatic beans.

These coffee beans give us a kick in the morning, help us through the day and cover our mouths in delicious goodness. I know that many of us would like to meet the great producers that bring these amazing beans/seeds to life.

If you have anymore fruitful facts please let us know.

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10 Reasons to fall in love with Fruit Picking

There is nothing we love better than being out in the fields getting back to nature. Why have we abandoned our roots? Let’s reconnect with the land and fall in love with fruit picking. Here are just a few reasons we think fruit picking will give you time for reflection and get you back to basics:

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For more details on any of our fruit filled adventures please contact one of our fruit loving team.

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