There is plenty opportunity to forage in Cumbria.  From picking field mushrooms on Burgh Marsh and Flatty Treading in the Solway, to gathering wild garlic by Gelt River & berry picking, well, just about anywhere!

At the moment elderflower is on my forage radar.  The local hedgerows are laden with creamy white flowers, irresistible to photograph!

Elderflowers are best picked in the morning, on a sunny day.  The flowers have a lovely sherbet like aroma (although some don’t smell so fresh, so it is worth being particular).  Ideally it is best to pick and use as soon as possible, as the flower heads do wilt in warm weather.

This year I wanted to make elderflower cordial, so headed out to Greenwell, by Gelt River.  There are lots of lovely elderflower bushes, well away from the roadside.  Additionally, there is particular spot by an old disused cottage where wild mint grows in abundance.

I took a small stash of accessories with me, so I could take some pics whilst gathering.  There was weathered wooden fencing and stone slabs to set my ‘findings’ on, that made for lovely photographs.

Forage photography

It’s great being able to photograph produce as it is picked.  I can be really choosy – opting for the freshest, most perfectly shaped leaves and blooms.  I’ll pop these into a basket, so they are not crushed and bruised in the process.  Typically elderflowers are combined with a light sugar syrup and fresh lemons to make cordial.  All these ingredients look great together – I love the bright punchy colour of the lemons.  When possible, I do like to include raw produce in food photography as it helps communicate what a recipe includes, particularly if it is not otherwise obvious.

These are a handful of my favourite images.  Accessories include a basket (for texture), some old garden scissors, gathered on to an old scorched piece of ply-wood.  Perfect for a country inspired recipe!

I hope you enjoy these images.  If you have a need for food photography, and think I might be able to help, give me a call – I’m always happy to chat!

Forage for wild mint in Greenwell
Forage elderflowers for cordial
Elderflower & lemon for a summery cordial