Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Another wet summer, but look on the bright side.

Well I bet you thought that was the last you would hear from me. Another one post wonder! True I've not been blogging for a while, but other things have demanded my attention. In fact I cannot believe where this year has gone!

During the spring we had fantastic weather here, almost too hot to work in the sun sometimes, but now the summer weather has arrived, wall to wall rain. This morning the water was lying in puddles on the cultivated ground, how glad I am to have some raised beds and I think there will be more to come if this is the weather pattern we are to expect.

However I'm not going to moan and groan, lets look on the bright side.
Lets have a bit of history.

Back in 2002 I bought a load of seeds from Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust. Many of the seeds were for varieties considered very experimental in our climate, but I wanted to try different tree crops. The fridge was partially occupied by stratifying seeds over winter, but in truth I now think natural winter temperature fluctuations are just as good or better at breaking dormancy!

So where is this leading? I'm just really excited about how well the myrobilan are doing! These are also called Cherry-Plum and are more often used as ornamentals.

Many people have told me that they will not fruit or will fruit poorly in the UK.

HOWEVER look at these pictures!

If this is poor fruiting then roll on the good years!

These trees are only six years old. We have had a small quantity fruit over the last couple of years, but only enough to eat off the tree. This year we plan to experiment with bottling and jamming.

If anyone out there has experience of using cherry plums we'd love to hear from you.

Oh Yes, I forgot to mention the pleasure the blossom brings in the early spring. That is the only word of caution, don't plant them is a frost I have! Of course being seedlings they have different characteristics, like flowering time. So some of mine caught a frost this year, and some didn't.

A wonderful thing Diversity!

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