Saturday, 9 November 2013

bird food

I'm not a greedy gardener and don't mind sharing what I produce with the local wildlife, some of it, anyway. This year there has been enough for all of us and I was happy to let the birds have all the cherries as I was far too busy harvesting bush fruit to worry about climbing a ladder for yet more fruit.

The autumn rasps are still producing like mad but, to be honest, there's only so much you can eat and store so I've decided to leave what's left of the crop for the birds as well.

It really has been an amazing year for fruit. I have enough jam to last me several years and can't squeeze another thing into the freezer!

Thankfully I'm not going to be reduced to eating cotoneaster berries so there's two bushes worth for the birds to go at. A couple of years ago we had a flock of waxwings in a nearby tree and they stripped the cotoneaster bush in the front garden in a matter of minutes.

The hedgerows round about are still heavy with wild fruit. Not many brambles left but hips and haws aplenty so I'm hoping that our local wildlife has more than enough to last through the winter.
Haws, the fruit of the hawthorn

Still a few crab apples left on this tree
but look what's on the ground underneath!
a veritable larder for the local wildlife

I always think it's amusing that some people seem to be paranoid about eating anything that grows outside but there are not that many things that are seriously poisonous. Most of the berries that people shy away from are simply unpleasant to eat so, faced with the choice between a raspberry and a rose hip, they usually opt for the rasp.

It was my intention to make a batch of cider with some of the apples, something I haven't done for a couple of years but I've just been too busy so the critters can help themselves. This tray of windfalls is there for anything that fancies a nibble.  I also scatter windfalls all around the veg plot where birds can peck away all they want. As a bonus they leave their droppings behind as fertilizer - every little helps!

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