Garden Club – Cherry Harvest

All of a sudden, my garden is a hive of interest for the wood pigeons. They are frequently appearing on the fence near the cherries tree. We are taking in turn every hour to go out and stand by it to make it clear that it is ours – and all ours. The ripe eating cherries were picked and didn’t even make it in to the house. We left the unripe ones to finish ripening on the tree. Big mistake, the following morning the whole tree had been striped clean and the pips in a pile under the arch. The pigeons had clearly sat up there, digesting the cherries and left us the evidence.

The cherries on the Morello Cherry tree are sharp and sour which makes them great cooking cherries, they give pies, crumbles, ice cream and gives jam a fabulous cherry flavour.

With the first pickings off the tree, I made a couple of jars with only the Morello Cherries and the jam tastes like the really popular sour sweets but without the crunchy sugar on the side. It makes your mouth pucker up with joy! This, we will use in things like Cherry Bakewell tartlets, where you need the cherry flavour to ‘pop’ and not to be lost or smothered by the almond frangipane.

The second batch of jam, I made 50/50 with eating cherry for a much subtler, less sour, more cherry flavour and I am offering a jar of this jam in a swop for a jar of your jam. I have already been promised a strawberry and a blackcurrant in exchange from your harvest this month and a blackberry and damson from your September harvests. Some of you have been very busy picking at your local Pick Your Own, and have been very busy making seasonal foods with what you have brought home.

The pigeons were not giving up on getting cherries off the Morello tree and we have been rushing out and scaring them off regularly as they are too heavy to sit in the cherry tree and they are breaking the fine, thin, delicate branches. So, the final harvest happened today. We have picked every cherry regardless of their ripeness to prevent the pigeons doing any further harm to the tree. Once we discarded the ones we could not use, this batch of cherries was mixed in a 25/75 ratio with eating cherries. This has been made in to pie filling and will be frozen and used in pies, turnovers, crumbles and as a topping for cheese cake over the winter.

Keep sharing your garden stories with us and if you would like to join the Orchard Training Cookery Club please let us know and we will share our recipes with you.

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