One of the things I took away from Druid Camp, mostly thanks to the prompting of my brilliant wife (who has recently rebooted her Druid blog The Green Hedge Druid…go check it out!) is the idea of making Druidry more practical, more grounded in nature and down-to-earth skills of making and crafting. Since I tend to live in my head, this is a great reminder that Druidry is not just an intellectual path, but a gloriously physical one too.
So with that in mind, we set off to our local hedgerows to forage an early crop of blackberries (Rubus fruticosus). After being at first disappointed that so many brambles still had tiny green berries on, a narrow path led to a blackberry bonanza, and after a few cuts and thorns (which Druid writer Penny Billington might describe as a “shamanic experience”) we gathered a goodly sum of rich ripe fruit.
So what to do with them? Make a crumble of course! Handily we had some apples that were just on the turn, so we threw those in as well, along with lots of brown sugar. The crumble top was flour, butter and more brown sugar (there are various recipes online, we used a variant of the one HERE) and then the whole thing baked away in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Serve with custard, and NOM!
What does this have to do with Druidry? Well, the way I see it, Druidry is a way of life and these simple acts of getting out into nature, foraging a harvest and bringing it home to make great food can be a way of expressing Druidry in the outer world in a very practical and useful way.
And the experience of knowing when fruit is in season, recognising it in the hedgerows, and seeing all the birds and creatures that also live in those hedges was a great way to reconnect to the life of the land.
Plus, it was delicious, and brought joy to us and our neighbours, and to me that’s what Druidic living is all about!