Monday, 1 August 2011

Summer Summary

The annual regret of Wimbledon is over, the cricket is looking pretty good though; we are now past the halfway mark in the year so let’s have a quick review.
It might not seem like it, but the nights are drawing in now so pay attention at the back...
Plum, Cherry Plum, Bullace, Damson and Greengage – Currently available in huge amounts for cropping. Great for eating, jam, chutney, pies, wine, liqueurs, cordial – the list goes on. Recipes.
There Are Loads of Local Cherry Plums
Green Walnuts – If you wanted to pickle or make schnapps you should have picked in June before the shell forms. The rest will mature as nuts in September. I am currently tuned into walnut trees and keep noticing them everywhere.
Green Walnuts on a Tree
Cherry – Mostly finished now but you still find the odd late tree with fruit on it. 
Late Cherries Still Available
Elderflower – Finished now but remember the trees because Elderberries will be ready soon and they make great wine or jelly.
Young Elderberries, Should Be Black Before Picking
Blackberries – Ready now, on a bush near you. Keep an eye on your favourite bush. Think of all the fun you can have with this delicious fruit. They freeze well too.
Who Can Resist a Juicy Blackberry?
Apple and Pear – Still ripening nicely; the branches bowed under the weight of fruit. It looks like it could be another bumper year and they will be ripe a few weeks early due to the warm spring. I’m looking forward to making cider or perry again in September. Note - I have found a tree with ripe pears already!
Apples Are Going To Be Up To A Month Early This Year
Hazelnut – The unripe nuts are currently easy to spy on the trees and in the hedgerows. Don’t pick them yet, be patient and wait for them to start dropping in a couple of months.
Hazel Nuts - Not Ripe Yet!
Chestnut – These trees have been in flower and looked quite exotic. At the moment you can spy young nut cases (more about nutcases later...). Chestnuts will not be ready for a couple of months though.
Chestnut Trees Have Fantastic Flowers
People have been enquiring about my Top Secret Google Fruit Map. Well I have been schmoozing with Greg from the Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford Transition Network. We have decided to share a version of the Urbane Foragers Fruit Map (see bottom of blog or my Community Website. I have also agreed to do some talks/flashforaging trips with these guys, so contact Greg or sign up to follow the blog if you want to join us for some fruit based fun.

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