20 Dec / Haul of fruity goodness
I have been waiting with glee for the weekend. Apart from being on holiday for two weeks, my berry plants have been ripening up ready for me to harvest their bounty.
There’s something truly wonderful about picking fruit direct from the plant, warmed gently by the summer sun, and popping it straight into your mouth.
For a start, it’s free. Everyone knows that free food holds no calories whatsoever.
For seconds, it’s fresh. Truly fresh. It hasn’t been picked way too early, then ripened in a temperature controlled environment, before being dumped into a plastic shield and displayed in a store under fluorescent lighting in a two-for-one special with a sign containing tiny regulation print to point out the country of origin that for-sure ain’t yours.
I’m not really into food-miles and all that jazz – I like food when I like it as much as the next person – but there is a difference. Imagine yourself taking a airplane journey half-way around the world, and then immediately driving from the airport to the supermarket. You wouldn’t be fresh either.
But back to my garden of deliciousness.
I would prefer fruit that would pick itself. A nice crop of strawberries that would jump into a punnet; cherries that not only pick themselves at the stem, but also protect themselves from the mass of hungry birdies that seem to think I grow fruit for their sole benefit.
Alas, it’s proved impossible to locate so far, so this afternoon I ventured forth into the garden armed only with a container and eight fingernails. I returned with scratches on my knuckles and hands from gooseberry spikes, scratches on my knuckles and hands from blackberry thorns, and scratches on my knuckles and hands from the spikes and thorns located next to the blackcurrant bushes through someone’s awful landscaping abilities.
Oh, and nothing at all from the three miraculous cherries that have so far survived into ripeness.
I now have some rather ambitious plans to make a jar of gooseberry jam. The blackberries and blackcurrants are to eat whilst making this treasure. Unfortunately, it’s far too hot today to even think of making jam.
If it’s hot again tomorrow I may just have to eat all my fresh fruit before it deteriorates, and put my plans on hold until the next lot ripens.
I’m also wondering if I should perhaps invest in a pair of gloves. I do have some nice evening ones that I rather fancy would protect me very well from the gooseberry bush attacks. All the way to my elbow.