Blooms of Elder in May — Wild food foraging by bike
Includes segments in which cycling is forbidden
You will have to dismount and push your bike.
378 yd in total
Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)
Katherine Moore planned a gravel ride.
June 9, 2020
To the trained nose, you’ll probably smell elder trees or shrubs before you see the ample white blooms in May and June. These clusters of tiny white flowers are sweet-smelling, and most commonly used to make delicious Elderfolwer cordial. A fresh and sweet soft drink diluted with water, or if you’re in the mood for something special, sparkling wine!You’ll need a few specific bits of kit to make the cordial, including muslin cloth for straining and citric acid, but it’s well worth it. To harvest the flowers, cut the clusters by the stalk, checking for insects. You don’t need to wash the flowers before you start the process of making cordial. You can also use the berries, present in August to October, as a great addition to apple pies or blackberry jam!Finding elder trees and shrubs is not a difficult exercise, especially in May and June when they’re in flower, as you’ll commonly see them in hedgerows and woodland. Like all foraging, only take what you need, and avoid taking blooms from low down where they might have been urinated on. This Tour is delightful loop in the Peak District, from the train station in the town of Matlock. You’ll follow a series of lanes and easy gravel segments as you head out east from the town. Don’t let the short distance fool you; the characteristically tough Peak District climbs mean this route certainly isn’t a walk in the park! Keep an eye out in the hedgerows and edges of woodlands that you pass by as you enjoy the lanes past Riber Castle, along Oaksedge Lane and on the gravel road past Ogston Reservoir. At the mid point of the ride you’ll follow the brilliant Five Pits gravel trail, with stunning views of the agricultural countryside for miles around. Two last climbs lie ahead of you before your return to Matlock, where you can head home and start working on that cordial.