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Hygiene and windfalls?
Mon 12-Sep-11
5:51 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Hi everyone - I'm somewhat new to foraging and apologise if this question has been raised before.

Recently an elderly neighbour very kindly allowed me to have what I wanted of his windfall apples. I was delighted and was quite happy picking them up as I knew it would help both of us. He is 95 and his garden is sadly very neglected now. He will only accept a bit of help being very independent. My worry is that I know we have foxes in the gardens and also occasionally a rat is spied by one or the other of us. In the road we all have fairly large gardens and being a semi rural area it is only to be expected but now I'm a bit worried that any of these creatures could have pee'd on the fruit or even had a nibble. I have seen fox cubs play with all sorts of things in the past - they especially love a football! His garden is a prime target for them as it is so neglected.

I have always washed the fruit very carefully but is this enough do you think or should I stick to fruit off trees and bushes only.

Bare in mind I steam my fruit - it doesn't get boiled until it is juice. Also I was told to save the skins and cores of apples to use for the pectin.

 

Any advice or thoughts about this possible dilemma?

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Mon 12-Sep-11
6:00 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Mon 21-Sep-09
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Wash them in water with vinegar in it or even a little bleach....I forget what the dilution ratio is but I'm sure you could google it. It used to be common practice when the British were sent off to the colonies. You can always give the fruit a good extra rinse/soak in clean water afterwards. 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Mon 12-Sep-11
6:20 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Ah, that makes sense - thanks for tip. I did wonder if salt would be any good but vinegar a good suggestion.

Cheers ok

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Mon 12-Sep-11
11:15 pm
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KateUK
uk

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and cut out any bits that look like they might have been nibbled...if they had been peed on by foxes you'd know all about it....if you pick up the windfalls regularly it shouldn't be a problem,especially if you do it morning and late afternoon- then you will know which ones were out all night, also wash under running water and peel.By picking up the windfalls regularly you will be removing a food source from the beasties you wish to discourage.Win win.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Mon 12-Sep-11
11:44 pm
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sanshojapan

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Hattie, you have brought the past flooding back! My father was in the navy and we lived in Malta for 3 years when I was a teenager. I remember how we washed everything in something called permanganate of potash. It made the water pink.

Tue 13-Sep-11
12:02 am
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Terrier
York

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Or you can buy shops own brand sterilising fluid (usually used for baby bottles) and I think you use a teaspoon of it to a litre of water. Then wash under running water.

Tue 13-Sep-11
7:08 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Thanks everyone - I think I have some Milton tablets somewhere so could use those. I cant get into the garden where the windfalls are as it's a neighbours and he isn't always around but I am trying to keep it clear for him.

I could always peel them but so many to do at the moment I'm trying to save on that if I can.

I know what you mean about Fox's wee (phew) mind you the stuff that comes out other end is worse flaming_nora. I did have a very careful sniff of some of them and they seemed ok but then I remembered that you can get a disease from rats pee and that really put me off.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 14-Sep-11
5:05 pm
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kayerunrig
lincolnshire

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lol...unless you have a comprimised immune system youre not going to die whatever has happened to them a quick rinse surfices after all theyre going to be cooked

Wed 14-Sep-11
5:40 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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I know what you mean Kaye and I wouldn't normally worry but I have one of those modern daughters-in-law (who I get on really well with) but she is a bit paranoid about stuff like fox's and rodents weeing on things that her boys might come into contact with. So I have to make sure it's all Ok or they wont get to eat my lovely jams and jellys. It is a bit off putting when you think about it but I'm sure they will be ok. I don't boil my fruit to get the juice - it's all steamed and let me tell you that blooming steam is a lot hotter than the boiling water - well it seems it when I get a bit too close flaming_nora

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

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