Picking Walks

Elderflower Pick’n’Collect

9 – 16 May 2020
AM pick / 2PM pick up

Your street or back garden

Have you got an elderflower tree in your back garden? Or keep passing one on your daily exercise walk? While we so wish we could be back outside together Going Picking in good company... we're having to think about picking differently while social distancing and lockdown measures continue.

Would you like to remain involved in one of our favourite harvests of the year?

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We’re inviting you to pick elderflower safely in your own garden, front drive, street or local park (while safely taking a daily exercise walk – please observe social distancing guidelines and do not go out of your way to find an Elder Tree if you haven’t got one in mind already).

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We will be driving around and safely collecting elderflower from your doorstep on Saturday 9th and Saturday 16th May.

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If you’d like to share your harvest and contribute to the latest, most popular range of Barking & Dagenham-Made Cordials, please email contact@companydrinks.info with your name and address and we’ll update you once we have a time for collections.

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You will OF COURSE receive an Elderflower treat in return, on your doorstep, for your contribution!

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Instructions for picking on Saturday 16th May:

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If you haven’t arleady, please email us on contact@companydrinks.info letting us know your address
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Please only pick elderflower you have access to anyway – either in your house, on your street, or along your daily exercise walk
General advice, like Lorna always tells us, don’t pick below the knee or above head
When foraging it’s always good to make sure you’re not picking more than 1/3 of the flowers on a plant, leaving plenty for the bees etc.
Try to avoid any elderflowers that have been attacked by black flies
A plastic shopping bag full per household will be more than enough!
Please leave your bag of elderflower on doorsteps at 2pm on Saturday (if at all possible, try to leave it in the shade).
We’ll be driving around after then.
We’ll collect from your doorstep wearing PPE gear and keeping a safe distance, there’s no need for you to come out (a wave from he window is always welcome though!)
Please let us know today if there’s anything you urgently need at the moment as we can try and assist if driving to you anyway

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Elderflower Plant ID TOP TIPS

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With the lovely weather we’ve been having, Elderflower season is upon us. With so many things you make with it, it’s important to make sure you know what to look for. The creamy white umbel is the first thing to look out for, along with the floral summery smell, the leaves can also be a good way to ID. They have 5 leaves, 4 opposite each other and one at the tip, they have serated edges. There are similar umbellifers that can be confused with Elderflower, including Hemlock, always make sure you are 100 % sure before picking anything and only pick up to a third of what is available.

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Update from Saturday 9th May:

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Thanks to everyone who picked on Saturday 9th May // FRESH Elderflower coming to these doorsteps soon.

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Thanks to everyone who picked on Saturday 9th May – What a loot! Same time this week

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Elderflower Lockdown Harvest Update

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Shaun delivering the Lockdown Harvest Elderflower Cordials to Hedgecock Community Centre, pictured with Emdad Rahman.

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Thanks to everyone who took part in the first ever Lockdown Harvest. We picked together on the 9th and 16th May, collected from your doorsteps and took the elderflowers straight back to Barking Park to be processed, bottled and delivered back to you the following week. Your pickings have not only helped make a large batch of delicious elderflower cordial for sharing with the community, but we also felt it was important to share this communal production with our local Covid-19 heroes….

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On Saturday 22nd May we delivered 69 bottles of Elderflower Cordial to the Hedgecock Community Centre (up the road from us in Barking Park) as a gift for their Eid Food Bank deliveries to local families. Each bottle of cordial mixes up to 10 servings, and so they’re ideal for families. We hope that the families at Hedgecock enjoyed their delicious local drink, picked and donated by our members and volunteers… Eid Mubarak!

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Thanks to Emdad Rahman and Hedgecock Community Centre for all the great work they’re doing in the borough through Covid-19. Please read Emdad’s brilliant blog post about our collaboration and check out all the other amazing things he’s been doing to support the community….

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