|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.