Autumn is the season of harvesting and Prickly Nut Wood offers apples, plums and pears as well as the bountiful supply of mushrooms, both wild and cultivated. Ben cultivates shiitake and oyster mushrooms and harvests wild ‘horn of plenty’ in a sustainable manner ensuring he leaves good crops for future years.
The berries of the wild service tree (sorbus torminalis) are harvested, but are best after the first frost – (spit out the seeds, they contain cyanide like apple pips!)
The annual chestnut crop is eagerly awaited and produces a fine crop of chestnuts most years. Ben roasts these as well as making stuffing, goujons and nut roasts. An extremely nutritious flour can be made from chestnuts which has been used as a staple food in regions of the Mediterranean.
Ben helps with the Lodsworth apple pressing which takes place each October, and supplies a selection of old cider variety apples he grows, which in recent years have produced some outstanding single variety ciders.