Quote Originally Posted by Graciee View Post
Ah my dad used to pick sloes to make sloe gin - but i'd be a bit scared i'd get it wrong... plus its not September yet haha regarding belly rub... that wont work as Atticus can be so sweet and then so vicious

I'll give the tea a go next time his stomach settles down thank you xx
I'll try not to pressure you but to give you more confidence I can't see how you could get it wrong. Not all bushes have sloes on but this changes from year to year. When they blossom in roughly April the blossom comes out before the leaves. This is to identify where they are in your area. You'll soon see them from 1/4 mile away, just need to have a quick drive round your area. OK for your oiwn stock you'll have to wait until Sept. It's really easy if there are sloes on the bush! Tune in to the leaf shape & the colour. It's quite subtle but not that common = helps you find other bushes. You'll find HUGE thorns about 1"+ long inside the bush, at the same level as the sloes. Nothing else has these. Avoid stabbing yourself by handling very loosely & taking the more superficial, thornless twigs. The final test of love. Take the tiniest nibble of the leaf If it's blackthorn it'll dry out the tip of your tongue - the proverbial parrot's cage effect. Have you ever tasted a sloe before it's been steeped in spirit? Exactly the same effect! Hence the tiniest nibble.

No it isn't September yet. I used to keep a store just for RUers when I was more active on here. I just collect some for my local vet now I'm rabbitless. My experience of the foragers is that they are very generous people. For now, maybe try to ask them on the diet threads. It's just a suggestion - no offense whatsoever if you're not keen for whatever reason.