A Fruitful Quest

Apples, Plums, Pears- this year seems to have been a good year for fruit and many of us were inundated. I managed to pick most of the plums before the wasps took them. I was very creative   (I think) with my cooking to make use of them, although many of my dishes had a common ingredient! The freezer is full of beans, spinach, gooseberries, red, white and blackcurrants but I managed to squeeze a few bags of plums in too.

Even the “condemned” pear tree
which has been on its last legs for a couple of years has produced the
most beautiful fruit. I bought a replacement for the tree but didn’t manage to dig the old tree out, partly due to a “discussion” about the necessity of doing so between my husband and myself. It looks awful as the trunk is crumbling away and full of woodlice. I presume that the abundance of pears is its death throes attempt to reproduce. So I may yet get my way and have the new tree in place before long.

Pears are tricky, I find, as they are rock hard, yet very quickly start to rot once picked so will only keep for some time if cooked and frozen or bottled. I do have some lovely recipes for pears, including savouries such as Pear and Brie tart. Great for lunch with a salad. I also adapted my mum’s Eve’s pudding for pears with a chocolate sponge.

The bizarre late summer weather followed by a couple of windy days affected our Bramley apple crop so that most of them dropped overnight. Apples do store well if in good condition kept in a cool, dry place, spaced out on trays but the ones we salvaged have been cooked and eaten!

Around now, bare root fruit trees are available to buy and if you would like to start your own mini orchard, prepare the ground and get planting.

However it was with great interest that I have just read about a new sharing website called FRUITSHARE http://www.fruitshare.net/.

This website aims to promote eating local while using up available resources. Users register as a Fruitsharer or alternatively if you haven’t got trees, a Fruitseeker. You will then be able to find a match in your own area. Fruitshare is not a large commercial site and has no budget for publicizing itself. It is relying on people to spread the word so have a look and if your neighbour is complaining about mountains of apples, pass the word on.

Stacy Tuttle

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