Thursday, 24 July 2014

Plentiful Plums

Our Plum Picknik was an outstanding success, I can confidently say that we all enjoyed ourselves and everyone took home plenty of scrumptious fruit! This is just as well because soon the whole area, including this lovely spot and the cricket pitch, is due to be "developed." The last vestiges of our valuable green space are steadily being destroyed and we all need to fight against this!
At the Picknik, we had a lovely time, the weather was fantastic, several families and individuals turned up with various implements and containers.
We set about gathering as many of the multi-coloured wild plums as we could and buckets and boxes were soon swelling with bright fruit.
We deployed young hands, children on shoulders, apple pickers, picnic blankets and some local kids even joined in by booting footballs into the trees.
There was so much abundance within easy reach that the buckets were quickly getting too heavy for the youngest children to carry.
The Plums were sweet to eat, straight off the trees, but people were also planning a vast hoard of scrumptious puddings, pies and cakes; there was enough to last a long time and still plenty left on the trees for later. If you want some, get down there soon, they might not be there next year!
By Sunday evening day my wife was making jars of delicious plum jam and by Tuesday, I was simmering a pot of gorgeous Spicy Yellow Plum Chutney over the stove with the remaining fruit.
I'm looking forward to our next event, and seeing everyone's photos of this one, even the ones where I get pelted with overripe plums, by the children...

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

I Predict a Picknik

I don’t normally like to make predictions but it is looking like a great Summer for produce. Possibly this is due to the replenished water table and the warmth of spring. 
There still are loads of Cherries and I have already noticed an abundance of PlumsHazelnuts and young Apples.
When the fruit comes, it tends to come all at once, often there is simply too much to deal with. We have had learned about preservation and storing of the excess that we always get. 
You can get far greater yields by working out what to do, where to go, and by utilising the freezer better.
Plums are going to be a case in point soon; there are loads growing and I have already picked my first ripe ones of the year. 
Plums taste great and can be eaten straight off the trees, of course. They can also be used to make chutney, jam, wine, pies, prunes and a myriad of other things.

I think we will need to organise a Cherry Plum Picknik, in a couple of weeks. 
Everyone can come and fill their boots, or possibly a basket or bicycle pannier. Actually, seeing as there are so many in the trees, a car with a decent trailer might be more appropriate. More details soon-don't touch that dial!
At the allotment, our Tayberry bush went into overdrive. We have been eating them straight off the bush, out of the fridge, and with ice cream. I have also added a good load to a Kilner jar filled with gin! I confidently predict that this will become a favourite delicious Summer tipple.
The Blackberries are lining up for a good year too and I have already seen an abundance of flowers as well as plenty of unripe green berries.