|the community orchard|
There's been a flurry of putting by food in the kitchen. At this time of year there's often more than we can eat, so the freezer starts to fill with boxes of blackcurrants and beans and cooked beetroot, ready for the less plentiful season.
I took the biggest boy with me yesterday and went to pick some wild plums. They grow near the streamside, and there are a few different trees, and at least two different types of plum. Maybe not strictly wild, they must have been planted by someone as they're all in a row, but no-one looks after them and as far as I can see no-one harvests them. In years past I've seen dozens of them squashed into the path.
Many of them were too high to reach, so I shook a few branches so that the ripe ones fell down. Some fell down my top, and quite a lot of stuff ended up in my hair. I did notice the odd earwig dropping out of the branches as well and later on I found a small (unharmed) grasshopper up my sleeve.
The fruits were perfect miniature plums, pink and yellow and surprisingly sweet. There were other bushes with round yellow ones that weren't quite ripe yet. We'll no doubt return in two or three weeks and see how they're doing. We filled a bag, but there are masses more. It amazes me that no-one else bothers with them.
On the way home we stopped by the community orchard to see how the fruit there was doing. The Victoria plums won't be ready for a while, but it's all looking good so far.
At home I washed the plums and started cutting them up to remove the stones. Then I had a moment of genius and dug out the cherry/olive stoner. Almost all of the mini plums fitted in there perfectly. The littlest boy was thrilled about that too, and took charge of the stoning. He sat in the kitchen with me and stoned every last one of them while I made lunch. In fact it took him a bit of time after lunch too, and the kitchen was lightly sticky afterwards because sometimes the stones shot out in all directions, but it was a satisfying job. I do so love filling the freezer at this time of year. Maybe next time we'll make jam.
A bounteous post, full of beautiful fruit. What a shame that no one picks these plums - all the more for you! I love filling the freezer during the summer and autumn too - must be echoes of ancient food-gathering and laying store for colder months. Love the photos, especially the orchard ones, so redolent of late summer.ReplyDelete
I made delicious cinnamon and wild plum tartletts a couple of years ago- think it might have been Delia. Worth having a google. Using the cherry stoner is genius! I'm glad you explained what it was because I was curious and would have spent the day pondering otherwise :o) xxReplyDelete
They look gorgeous, what a find. Nothing like that growing wild here, that I've found yet anyway. Well done chief stone remover, it's nice to have help from small people in the kitchen.ReplyDelete
Those plums look further along than ours. What there is of them this year.ReplyDelete
They look good, and being free are a real bonus. Enjoy the weekend. Flighty xxReplyDelete
What a treasure trove! Enjoy the bounty, yum. Here's to a good weekend xxReplyDelete
A brilliant find, trees full of fruit which no one wants. I haven't got a single plum on my little tree this year.ReplyDelete
Oooh how wonderful. Someone told me about a map, once, that shows where communal fruit trees are, for people to go and pick them so they don't go to waste. If only I could remember where to locate it! xxxReplyDelete
I love the idea of a community orchard and the look of those plums had me salivating. There's something very comforting about filling the freezer and larder with goodies to tide us over the winter months - it makes me think about the lovely Brambly Hedge books. Happy freezing. xxReplyDelete
Using the stoner was a great idea. I don't have one but if I ever have another bumper crop of plums like I did last year, I'm planning to invest in a stoner. That's hard work to do all by hand. It looks like you got a lot of fruit, it's going to be really nice to eat and to turn some of it into something else. That's of the best things about fruit, the ways you can transform it.ReplyDelete
How pleasing. Beautiful, free, delicious and satisfying to prepare. And lovely that your sons helped out.ReplyDelete
Well done in your harvesting so far, CJ! We don't have a pitter, but I can see how helpful they can be from you son's efforts! Our cherries were too tiny to pit, but the robins and squirrels in particular found no fault in them. Our wild blackberry vines around the pond are ready to be picked, but the wasps are winning the ones closest to their huge nest!ReplyDelete
What a lot of colourful plums, they seem to be ready early but great to have all that fruit for free and a handy helper too. :-)ReplyDelete
I love plums. A co-worker gave me a sack full and I made a clafoutis for dessert and it was delightful. I so wish I could get another sack, but I hate to ask. It looks like you are having a wonderful summer. Enjoy! StacyReplyDelete
Those are gorgeous plums! The yellow ones reminded me of apricots. You're so good to use the wild fruit and put it up. I bet it would make delicious jam! We have our granddaughters with us.. finally.. and it's fun. It is *HOT* here in Missouri! Thank goodness for an air conditioned condo. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)ReplyDelete
What a bountiful harvest ... and all for free! The community orchard sounds great too. There's nothing like that around here unfortunately.ReplyDelete
I just love this post, little hands helping to de-stone and big hands helping to gather. You are blessed my friend.ReplyDelete
Spending time in the kitchen together ----- priceless! Glad you had a good time with your little helper.ReplyDelete
How lovely to have wild plums growing close by and such fun collecting them with your eldest boy. I wish we had a community orchard here, we don't seem to have community orchards or allotments where I live which is such a shame.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed your beautiful images and so nice to have your littlest boy helping you seed the plums.
Enjoy their lovely flavour and sweetness dear CJ.
Lovely, are they cherry plums? I have some allegedly as part of my new edible hedge. A cherry stoner was an inspired idea xReplyDelete
Oh, such a lovely post to read! So satisfying. It's the thought of harvesting all that produce and filling your freezer and cupboards with provisions for the autumn and winter. I want to make jam now. XReplyDelete
The very description 'wild plums' sounds lovely. I do admire your resourcefulness in getting things in ready for later in the year. You must be feeling a sense of accomplishment.ReplyDelete
I'd love to find some plum trees nearby. There is one but it's right next to a busy road which is always full of quarry wagons. I assume the fruit would be very dusty and fume-infused.
Chutney, crumble and cake to be concocted round at yours I hope!
They look delicious! It's the same here, there are fruit trees everywhere in this village, many of them very old, and most of the fruit is left to simply rot away. I take as much as I can use from the trees I can access without trespassing , but so few local people are interested in the stuff that most of it goes to waste.ReplyDelete
I expect someone has already said that they are probably cherry plums which are some of the most delicious that there are!! If I found these trees I would be there picking them too! The fruit in the orchard looks as though it is all doing really well too, the apples are in fantastic shape, not holes or icky bits at all.ReplyDelete
Hope you have been having a good weekend! xx
Lots of lovely fruitiness.. those plums look yummy and free to boot.. Great idea using your cherry stoner :o) xxReplyDelete
It is such a shame to see fruit go to waste. I see it around here with apple trees. I can't help but think of all the good applesauce and dried apples I could make with all the fruit that has been left to rot. Brilliant idea to use a cherry pitter to get the stones out!ReplyDelete
what wonderful finds! those golden yellow plums look so lovely. good on you for freezing them away for later.ReplyDelete
my trick when pitting cherries is to do it within a large plastic bag. it mitigates the splatter effect around the kitchen :-)
Those mini plums look so cute! I can't believe you say casually mention you found a grasshopper up your sleeve haha. I would have had a heart attack! I consider myself an outdoorsy person but compared to you I surely am not hahaReplyDelete
A few years ago we were walking along an abandoned railway and discovered some plums. They were the best ones I have ever tasted so I can imagine how good the ones you picked must have tasted! What a great hoard! Sarah xReplyDelete
Fantastic, what a great haul! Absolute stroke of genius to use the cherry stoner and well done to the littlest boy for sticking with the task! Hope you have plenty of plum recipes up your sleeve (and no more grass hoppers) xxReplyDelete
I am bonkers for wild plums and have a very bad case of the jealous jellies. This year all my usual sources for plums have quite literally dried up. Enjoy them and thank you for sharing such beautiful photos of your bounty. Ahh there is good in the world.ReplyDelete
Oh yum, plums. I remember the little yellow/orangey ones from my childhood. I could quite easily eat them until I felt sick, the variety is really sweet. Isn't it great when you find wild edibles? I noticed tons of wild raspberries on my way to work on Monday and have stopped to eat a few every day. xReplyDelete