Here at Hedgewitch HQ, we aim to gather, at just the right time, not just when the blossoms are out, but when they have been bathed in our Sussex sunshine for most of the day! So the fragrance is at its strongest.
As soon as we come back from forageing the hedgerows, or country lanes, or local parks, even friends gardens, we add the blossoms to our hot syrups and steep them until their perfume has been transferred into the syrup. With added Citric Acid, a preservative, we bottle and label these unique cordials.
What makes them special is the complexity of their flavours – just as perfumes have a base, middle and top notes, so do our cordials, for instance, the wild Cherry Blossom cordial has – Blossom, Cherry and Almond flavours/ notes, added to fizzy water, it makes them ideal for a non-alcoholic drink – as they not only taste delicious, but are complex and more interesting than a J20 or a Coke.
Nature does not stop growing, so our Pesto and Tapenades are made in small health giving batches, all year round.
What she does is she just slows down, so many plants, on the surface seemingly dead, when in actual fact, they are working underground to collect nutrients and minerals ready for their next growing season, but many other plants carry on producing leaves, so we can still pick See Beet, Alexanders and even Nettles growing in a sheltered spot, so we can still forage anytime of year.
We forage seasonally for everything, with nature’s rhythms, because she always produces what is healthful to us at the time we need it. From autumn berries and fruit packed with lots of vitamins, especially vitamin C and immune supporting Bio-Active Compounds and anti-oxidants, to help us with coughs and colds through the winter until spring springs, then nettles, cleavers and dandelions help cleanse our systems after a winter of stodge and carbohydrates etc.
So our products are always freshly made and we have a ‘made on’ date and a ‘best before’ date, so you know they have not been left on the shelf for months or years.
We make small batches and when they have gone, that’s it until next year! With the exception of our Pesto, Tapenade and Wild-Kraut, these are made all year round, the same jar but different wild herbs- depending on the time of year, even seaweeds have a growing season too. So whenever you order from us, you will be guaranteed the freshest and most unique products available on line, we think!
Rosehips, Wild Cherry Blossom, Seaweeds, Alexanders, Sea beet, Hawthorn……All of nature’s bounty brought to you in our jars and bottles.
We put our labels on mostly hand written, as we make many small batches, because we never know exactly what nature will create for us. Sometimes autumn comes early and we miss the wild plums, or it’s a very rainy spring and the Cherry Blossoms are ruined! But it works the other way round too- as I write this, I’ve just got a text from a friend, telling me they saw some Sea Buckthorn growing down the back roads at Pevensey Bay.
So, no batch is the same, how boring it would be to just make the same recipe week in, week out.
As a Hedgewitch ( Hedgewitchery is a discipline of using the edible wild plants in an intuitive way, like a Medicine Woman ), my aim is to create health giving, but tasty products to inspire people to make their own healthy, tasty Elderflower Cordials or Wild Garlic Pesto etc.
(pic of vouchers) If all of this really resonates with you or you know someone who would love to reconnect with this knowledge, I run Forageing Workshops too, I can come and show you what is growing in your back garden or local park or woods. I will bring extra plants, berries or seaweeds , depending on the season, for you to taste too.
Or I can take you to the places I forage, including wild garlic woods or the banks of my local tidal river and, of course the sea shore for fresh seaweeds etc. See the workshops section for more details.
Our produce is picked, preserved and posted from Lewes, East Sussex, England, to anywhere in the world.
So, when we decide to pick, say Elderberries, we take many factors into consideration.
Firstly, where the Elder tree is growing, we don’t want to pick the berries from a tree by a polluted busy road or in a dark dank place with rotting matter and rubbish all around. What we do look for is a warm sunny autumn day, the Elder tree is growing on the side of the chalky hill, known as the South Downs, and the hill gently slops towards the coast and the sea.
On an energetic and molecular level, the glistening elderberries will resonate with your taste buds, and your body will gain huge health giving benefits too.
All our wild fruits, berries and herbs have much, much more vitamins, minerals and Bio-Active compounds, compared to cultivated fruit and vegetables, and resonate so much more with us compared to fruit and vegetables’ grown in polytunnels abroad for instance.
So, when you receive your package of loveliness, you will be reconnecting with nature, the way your hunter gathering ancestors once did.
P.S. We only pick around a third off the tree or plant, so leaving plenty for the local wildlife.