Plum Harvest Success!

by Jamie on August 27, 2010

This Saturday we had great success harvesting plums in the South East corner of Haggerston Park. This corner of the park contains a small patch of woodland with a load of plum trees (‘plum central’ as Nick calls it), along with a slightly unloved patch of land which is about to be transformed because the London Orchard Project is going to be planting an orchard there this year.

These were wild plums hanging in large numbers from quite spindly branches. This made harvesting quite easy – a tarp and a good shake meant that they were quite literally raining down on us:

The plums were at very different stages of ripeness, with some quite unripe and clinging tenaciously to the tree and others clearly past it. Being wild plums they were mostly small and tart but the ones with the most vibrant orange colour were perfect.

While one group harvested, another sorted through the plums, removing those that were too far gone and then sorting the remaining into different grades of ripeness:

At the end of the harvesting session we each took home a batch of plums for preparation. I’ve stewed mine down and will be using them to make a chutney once we have harvested some other fruits. I’ve spotted a great looking recipe which I can’t wait to cook up. Carina took her plums home and whipped up a crumble:

All in all it was a very successful first go at harvesting. The plums were a little fiddly to gather (not to mention process – stoning them was a labour of love), but we’re now moving into the pear and apple seasons so things will get a lot easier from now on in.

It was fitting that our first harvesting session happened right by the site where a brand new orchard will be growing this time next year.  The London Orchard Project needs to raise funds to make this happen and has teamed up with a brand new crowd funding platform called Buzzbank which has been set up to support social and environmental projects.

The money raised will go towards planting the orchard and training up people to care for it along with other orchard and fruit tree related activities – all happening right here in Hackney. You can find out more and make a contribution by checking out this page.


mary May 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Hi, I’ve tried to join Hackney Harvest via google groups but found it a frustrating exercise. How do I join your group and get to hear about harvesting wild fruit this coming summer?
Best wishes,

Jamie May 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Hi Mary

Sorry about that, the google group has attracted spammers so we have to approve people. You should be able to access it now.

All the best


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