Friday, 20 June 2014

I Spy Cherry Pie

We have been taking advantage of the sunny weather and collecting more Cherries in St Deny’s.
They're Big
This time the children and I found a lovely tree, laden with big fat ripe fruit that was just right for picking.
They're Tasty
We could reach some by hand and my daughter and I used pickers for the higher ones.
They're Easily Reached

My son, who enjoys climbing was placed into the lower branches, from where he scrambled up and proceeded to drop any Cherries that he could not fit into his mouth, into our pickers.
They're Coming Home!
It was only a short while before we were trooping off, back over Cobden Bridge; our faces and fingers smeared with juice and bearing our trophy of a large Tupperware box overflowing with tasty red fruit.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Cherry Aid

The Elderflowers are in full bloom now and the sweet smell of pollen is in the air. So, I hope you are all making cordial and champagne
Cherries are ripening on the trees now too and you’ll need to keep a close eye on them – there’s a fine line between the bright yellow/red sharp fruit that the birds will gobble and the darker sweeter ones that we want to scoff ourselves. I even saw a squirrel gorging himself in a tree the other day!
Easy Picking
We have already been eating cherries off the earlier trees and they are very nearly there. The tree outside my office and the big one at St Deny’s Community Centre are often the first local trees to ripen and I use these as a barometer to know when to start searching in earnest.
My son and I picked a bucket-load of big fat juicy sweet ones in St. Deny’s the other day. You could see from the leaves on the ground that other people had been picking them too, which is good news because the main purpose of this blog is to promote just this kind of behaviour. I have been keeping an eye on the B&Q crop too.

Cherry Plums Ripe Soon
Of course, when it comes to cherry pickers, we have secret weapons… Our telescopic Apple pickers also work very well with cherries and plums, which will be coming soon too. We will be back in St Deny’s, fully tooled up, very soon, we spotted a tree that was absolutely laden with dangling red jewels, which were almost,  but not quite fully ripe….
I Spy Cherry Pie

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Falling Fruit - Mapping Monster

Recently, I have been working collaboratively with the Falling Fruit group. You might notice a dense cluster of links around Southampton where all of my local fruit map coordinates have now been added to their global master map. There is a permanent link to this map on my blog's left hand side bar. 

Here’s why it’s important: Falling Fruit is like Wikipedia for fruit trees. It’s an open, collaborative map of free food sources all over the planet. We have more than 600,000 locations mapped so far. People all over the world use our tool. Hundreds every day. It’s kind of unbelievable. We have no idea how that happened.

Well, maybe we do. Over the last 18 months, we have built the site entirely in our free time, devoting literally thousands of unpaid hours to its development. We’ve also paid for the hard costs (server fees, filing fees, etc.) out of our own pockets.

We believe that a giant map of free urban food sources makes a compelling argument: there is enough food to go around. Food doesn't have to be a commodity. We have the capacity to produce enough good food for everyone and a lot of it, right in the cities where the bulk of people live. We want people to experience picking an apple, or cherries for a pie, or a handful of warm mulberries on a summer day. We want to convince your city to plant more food for you, not more crepe myrtles.
If we can raise funds to develop an app, we think that we can sell it for a few bucks and use that income to permanently cover our costs. We want Falling Fruit to stay free, open, and available to all. We simply can’t afford to keep paying for everything out of pocket. As the user base has grown, the site is has become too costly to run. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll have to use ads, or make a portion of the site not free. We don’t want to do that.

If you’ve already contributed, Thank You! So you know, you can pick a different “perk” at any time. We’ve added a number of new perks since launching the fundraiser which you might want to check out. Honey, photographic prints, cookbooks, caramel apples etc. 

If you haven’t contributed, can you help? Even if you don’t have any cash to spare, can you help spread the word?