There's something to be said about a trip to the country.

After a hard week's work, on Saturday morning I set out with my daughter and two little people to visit my sister-in-law who lives out the back of Waipukurau.

The sun was finally shining after days of wind and rain. We arrived to coffee and homemade hot-cross buns ... my sister-in-law is one of the best cooks I know.

We sat outdoors with tui calling to each other and bees buzzing about. It felt like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders.


There were no phones ringing, no computers in sight, no traffic noise ... it was heaven.

After a delicious homemade pie of leek (from her garden), cheese and onion, plus some wonderful pork sausages (these were for the little people but we all ate them), bread and homemade tomato relish we set off on a walk.

We had scraps for the chooks and a cane basket to collect mushrooms. The chooks were let out to free range and the nearly 4-year-old was very excited to see six fresh eggs, which she helped to carefully collect.

We skirted a pond looking for frogs, of which we saw zero, and wandered over the paddock gathering mushrooms.

They were everywhere. The rain had ruined some but the wet, humid weather we have had is ideal for mushroom growing.

It didn't take long to fill the basket, then we meandered on and through a gate over to the vegetable garden where we added capsicums and red onions to our harvest.

Down a wee bank we went to the apple trees. We only managed to get one decent apple, a bit late in the season for these trees.

Then back to the house just as a few spits of rain hit us.


There was thunder off in the distance and we did have a downpour, but still we sat outside on the porch and the little people walked about in the warm rain.

They also played in the leaves and I took them on an "adventure" through some long grass. We went over and under a little wooden bridge, and raced back to the house.

It was a wonderful day out and it made me think about how much time we spend rushing from here to there and back again.

Even on the weekends everyone is so busy being busy.

So I've come up with a little plan for readers.

It's the school holidays, so grab some little people, make sure you know them, and go foraging.

Autumn is harvest time.

There are all sorts thing out there falling on the ground just waiting for you.

There are walnut trees, fig trees and crab apple trees all over Hawke's Bay in public play places or on the roadside.

Also it's feijoa time and just about every other person in Hawke's Bay has a feijoa tree.

Ask someone if you can gather some. We have two huge feijoa trees and I hate seeing them rot on the ground. I'm forever picking them up and taking then to work or giving them away.

Or go on a mushroom hunt.

Then take your bounty home and make something.

The kids will love it.

If you can't find anything to forage, buy a couple of pumpkins (they are really cheap at the moment) and make some soup for winter. It's good for kids to know that not all food has to come from the supermarket.

Oh and just remember not to jump any fences to forage - you might land in a whole heap of trouble. Have fun.