Thursday, 7 July 2011

Local, Seasonal, Fiscally Enjoyable and Easy

We often get articles in the media telling us we should be, Shopping Locally, Eating Seasonably and worrying about oil but how many people are prepared to put up with (what can seem like) the inconvenience of achieving these very commendable objectives? I suspect that the answer is very, very few. However, it does not follow that we should not make an effort, and at least see what is practicably possible, in-between the strata of our busy lives.
Free Plums
I believe that if we spent a bit less time living our lives vicariously through electronic media (says he blogging), we would have enough spare time to do something real. I’m not suggesting you chuck your iphones through the telly; but just one hour less TV or media each night (for instance) would effectively give you another working day per week in which to do something different.
Free Cherries
Of course, no one will change their lifestyle simply because someone said that they ought to; these things have become habitual and deeply ingrained in our culture. Having said this, my kids enjoy picking fruit and the benefits of doing this as a hobby are many. I don’t really think of how much money I’m saving, when I’m in a sunny field shaking cherries out of a tree, but if you add up the cost you can soon see the amount of cash it is possible to save. Bear in mind that a Kilo of fruit tends to cost at least £2.00.
Free Walnuts
Last year we were really just getting started but we still collected…
Apples                 Over 100Kgs
Pears                   About 40Kgs
Walnuts               16Kgs
Hazelnuts            3Kgs
Cherries               Over 7Kgs
Plums                  Over 8Kgs
You don’t need to be a scientist to work out that this saves enough to pay a few bills, but the most important thing, is the fun we have doing it as a family.

Nuts oh Hazel Nuts

This year we are getting far greater yields. We have been utilising the freezer better and are learning about how to preserve and store the excess that we get. Plums are a current case in point, there are simply too many of them for us to deal with. I wish someone else would help us and make use of them, simply so that this resource is not wasted. So, if you like plums, get down to the cricket pitch (opposite the Cricketers Arms pub) in Chestnut Avenue and fill yer boots, or possibly a basket might be more appropriate.
Crab Apples - Free

There are lots more on Botley Rd, Hedge End on the fields off Stoneham Lane and on Chesil Beach nature reserve, in Bitterne Manor all in or near Southampton…

Sloes - Free, although the Gin I'm going to put them in will not be...

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