I was jotting down in my notebook the other day all the things we are currently growing and all the things that I want to grow to keep us in vegetables and salad in the coming year. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of fruit bushes and trees we have been able to get planted and those that were already here when we moved in.
The fruit list reads as follows -
Apples - Cooking and Eating (established and new)
Plums (established and new)
Cape Gooseberries (Physalis)
We thought we had bought a couple of Damson Trees but on closer inspection they are in fact more of a plum, they are the smaller ones in the picture above. The big plums are from the established tree in Chicken World, whenever I go over to feed the chickens I check the trees for the best Plums and the chickens get any insect nibbled or over ripe ones. So we do seem to have an excess of plum trees counting both the new and the established ones. I see lots of plum jams and sauces to come in the future then ... no real hardship!!
All I think we need to buy then are a couple of Damson trees, and we will have all the fruit we need.
The Blackberries are growing everywhere, in the hedge between us and the road, along the back of the trees in Chicken World and all along the paddock and into our woodland. So there should be no shortage of those in the future. I rinsed and laid these to dry off slightly on kitchen roll as some of them had been picked from near the road.
I've started keeping a plastic bag in my pocket and harvest a few whenever I see them ready for picking, remembering to take half for us and leave half for the wildlife. They seem to be out early this year, or maybe it's just the difference between here in North Wales and where we were in Southern England, it's all a learning curve at the moment.
Open frozen on a tray and then tipped into a box in the freezer it should give us plenty to eat for the next few months. I am not making any jam this year as we are working our way through jams made in previous years at the moment. Some of them as far back as 2010 and they are in wonderful condition. You can't beat a slice of toasted bread with some homemade jam with a big mug of coffee after a mornings planting and digging.