Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Cherry Picking Chain Saw Style

I may not have been blogging for the last few days but 'stuff' has been happening and I'll do my best to play catch up over the next few days. Like many of the people round here I lost most of my fruit in the frosts at the beginning of April. I have 2 plums and I think it's 3 reine claudes and that's about it with the tree fruit. The sweet cherries have a little fruit on them but it has already split but a couple of the sour/wild cherry trees were spared so some of the time before today's thunder storms was assigned to picking them.

The trees have not been pruned and have just been left to grow resulting in the lower branches having very little fruit while way up above the reach of my ladder there is lots of ripe fruit. So cherry picking was combined with a little mega pruning.

I managed to pick about 10 pounds of cherries before the heavens opened. They are too sour to eat as is but I experimented last year with making glacé cherries and a good proportion of this year's harvest is designated for candying - a further post on this is to follow in a week or so when process is complete.

I will have far more cherries than I can use as glacé cherries so if anyone has any good recipes for wild/sour cherries I'll be really grateful.

I could bottle them but I have yet to eat last year's batch. I've preserved some in alcohol which I will taste when my children are over and I made some cherry jam last year. I still have a few jars of jam left mainly because it set solid in the jar and is impossible to spread on bread or toast. With so little other fruit to look forward to I'm loathed to waste these cherries so I'm off to check my many cookery and self sufficiency books for ideas.


Debra in France said...

It is such a shame to waste them. How do you candy cherries? We have loads of apple trees and they are really delicious, but I can only eat so many! OH doesn't 'do' fruit unless it is apple sauce with pork. I made loads of sauce and froze it. My main cerry tree didn't have much fruit this year and is way to tall anyway, I may have to do some chainsaw 'pruning' as well!

I'll keep an eye our for some recipes :-)

Stew said...

Cherry Picking George Washington style

dND said...

It was me, I cannot tell a lie.

Anonymous said...

I /have just found your blog and I am both enjoying it and also marvelling at how you do so much!
So sorry about Mr Tibbs,however long we have our animals they always leave a mark on our hearts.

aims said...

Have you tried googling sour cherry recipes? I see there are quite a few. Makes the search time a little shorter than paging through a cookbook.

We have sour cherries in a jar in some I'm assuming they are 'pickled' in some way. Did you know they are great for helping with gout? Ya! I was surprised to learn that too but the people I know who have tried them and have gout say they take away the pain. Wow!!

jimmycrackedcorn said...

So you picked them slightly unripe because you were afraid the whole tree would split in half during the storm?

dND said...

Debra, The apples from the mature apple tree here don't store either so it will be apple sauce here too although I'm going to attempt to make some pectin too.

Stew, I'd forgotten my American history while cutting away!

Hi Anonymous and welcome to my blog. Thank you for you comments. It's strange but it doesn't matter what I do there is always a long list still left but it does keep me out of mischief.

Aims, I though I would give the books a go for a change and there was a thunderstorm overhead so I had emergancy candles lit in case we lost power and the computer switched off. I feel a bit safer with the new house electrics but better safe than sorry. I also have dozens and dozens of cookbooks that I really should use.

Hi JCC and welcome too. No I was just trying to get them picked before I got wet. The thunderstorms are torrential if short lasting. The heavy pruning is just for this year to get the trees into a better shape for harvesting.