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Autumn harvests

Posted: Wednesday 2 October 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

In my garden, it's been a vintage year for fruit, and many vegetables too, to the extent that I feel I need a new freezer to store my harvests.


Damson plums

In my garden, it's been a vintage year for fruit, and many vegetables too, to the extent that I feel I need a new freezer to store my harvests.

Our Discovery apples have been the sweetest in ages and with the most wonderful texture too – so much so that I'm being requested to grow more of them. We harvested the last few at the weekend, as they were proving too popular with the birds (why do they have to go for these as opposed to the scab-ridden ones?).

Last year we had so few apples that we hardly stored any, and there was no chance for us to use our apple juicer. This year we've already made litres of the stuff - it was gorgeous and, because it was made largely from windfalls that were slightly under-ripe, it was also very ‘dry’. 

I’ve started making Dutch apple cake too; thick slices of cooking apple embedded in a wonderful cakey dough, and heavily doused with cinnamon and sugar. 

Plums have been prolific too, despite a bout of plum moth (I intend to install a trap next year). Almost all the damsons have been harvested; a gentle shake of the top caused the ground beneath to turn rich blackish-blue with the fruits, and ever since I've been busy making jam, purees and even the first batch of 2013/14 damson ice cream (a delicious concoction marbled with tangy darkest red damson puree).  

After all my harvesting, I had to scrub my fruit-stained hands and catch a train to Yorkshire to record a very special edition of BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time on the Carlisle to Settle line. As I returned home I wondered: would there be any damson ice cream left for me?





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donutsmrs 02/10/2013 at 18:50

This has been the first time I have grown marrows and they have grown so well, I only put two plants in. We have eaten some of them and with one I have made marrow and ginger jam. Never done that before either but it is delicious. I have got a bumper crop of tomatoes too so I am going to have a go at making tomato chutney.

Busy-Lizzie 02/10/2013 at 22:45

You can put grated courgettes into cakes and they are nice and moist, you could probably do it with marrows too. I add grated courgette, chopped apple, ginger, lemon zest, cinnamon and sultanas to a basic cake mix.