Photo Credit: Katharina Geissler-Evans of Heiter Magazine

One of our favourite companions for seasonal foraging is John Wright’s’ The Forager’s Calendar. With handy illustrations, a deadpan style of writing that’s also extremely endearing and succinct histories and properties of each plant, this book gives us something new to look forward and be present to each month.

Below is a guide, inspired by this book and built upon by our own adventures in foraging, for the seasonal forager in you.

Hawthorn for the Heart

Hawthorn, with its plump red berries and scraggly branches, is the epitome of September’s abundance. Both physiologically and esoterically, this plant is indicated for healing the heart in all its forms. Whether it be the physical musculature of the heart, or the less tangible scars on this organ’s spiritual body, Hawthorn is there to heal, soothe, strengthen and nourish.

How to brew:

Combine Hawthorn Berries with Rosehips (see below) for a tangy, uplifting and refreshing brew. Steep on the hob with a generous lashing of honey for 20 mins, or leave to brew in a teapot and drink cool.

Blackberries for the Brain

Blackberry season is upon us. And while for many of us, that means decadent pies with big dollops of cream, Blackberries are also brilliant sources of brain food. High in Vitamins C and K, as well as fibre and magnese, Blackberries have also been shown to have brain functioning benefits.

How to brew:

Grab a handful of Blackberries and a few leaves of Nettle and steep in a teapot for 3-5 minutes. Sweeten with Honey if desired and drink for a healthy dose of brain fuel (not to mention the iron, and magnesium of the Nettle – add in the Nettle seeds for extra energy).

Rosehips for Immunity

One of the many marvels of nature is its capacity for transformation. The way a plush, decadent rose can transform into a little amber bullet never fails to amaze us. Not only are Rosehips testament to nature’s magic, but also its wisdom. Just when we need it, fragrant roses metamorphose into Vitamin C rich Rosehips, to fuel us through the seasons most challenging for our immune systems.

How to brew:

Enjoy in the Hawthorn and Rosehip blend.

Mushrooms for Antioxidants

Mushrooms, depending on the species, can help address anything from cellular ageing, to anxiety and burnout, to mood. There are many mushrooms which are just starting to poke through their hibernation at this time of year, from the prettily named Fairy Ring Champignon to the bright yellow Chicken of the Woods.

Please do be careful and use a reliable guide or do a foraging course when looking for mushrooms. We only pick ones that we’re very certain about, and the line between edible and dangerous for some species is sometimes as fine as the colour of its spores!

How to brew:

We like to dry ours and steep in an umami broth for maximum taste and health benefits. Just season with salt, a dash of pepper, and some other seasonal herbs that you have on hand, like oregano or fennel. Dried herbs from the cupboard work well too.

A Crab Apple a Day…

And finally, the humble crab apple. While it doesn’t look like much amidst its bright and juicy kin, this tiny apple packs a mighty punch when it comes to vitamins, minerals and taste.

How to brew:

We like to brew ours on the stove, with plenty of nutmeg, cinnamon and honey. Add some black tea about 2 minutes before you’re finished, to make your own stovetop Spiced Toffee Apple!