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Scrumping on Hvar? We advise against it.

Published in For the Common Good

As July progresses, the grapes ripen on the vines, ready to reach their full luscious ripeness later on in August. However, foraging is not recommended.     

Ripe grapes may look tempting, but... Ripe grapes may look tempting, but...

Hvar's fields offer plenty of edible plants for our health and delight throughout the year. But think twice before going scrumping. For a start, most of the land is in private ownership, and even if a field looks unkempt and neglected, the owners may still resent strangers stealing their harvest. It's certainly possible that the owner won't mind you taking the odd grape or fig, so long as you don't get carried away and try to load up with bagfuls.

Spraying vines in springtime. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

But BEWARE! A lot of landowners on Hvar use copious amounts of synthetic pesticides on their crops and soil: herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, also limicides (slug poison). Roadside fields and kitchen gardens may also be subject to insecticide spraying ('fogging') by the local authorities, at least three times during the summer season. All of these chemical pesticides are dangerous in themselves. Their effects when combined are unknown and unimaginable.

Figs ripening in July. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

If you don't know whether or not a crop or apparently wild area has been treated with poisons, we advise you to resist any temptation to sample the produce!