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Exceptional Soft Fruit Season


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Posted
  • Location: N.E. Scotland South Side Moray Firth 100m asl
  • Location: N.E. Scotland South Side Moray Firth 100m asl

    Strawberry yields in the garden are exceptional compared to last year mainly I suspect due to an abundence of dry sunny days with only two periods of rain excceding 5 hours in the last 9 weeks. Compare this to last year at this time when nearly every day had a period of rain exceeding an hour and the soil surface never dried from mid May till mid August. The season so far has also been condusive to very good growth in cereal, grass,and root crops on the farm ironically when I am considering to plant less next year due to the astronomical price of fertiliser and fuel which do not seem to have stopped going up.

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    Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl

    I've got several Damson trees/bushes that are completely bare this year. Also a pear tree in the bottom orchard that was full of blossom has not a single pear on it !!

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    Posted
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey

    strawberry crop this year was pants, not helped by the magpies keep pinching what I did have, plum/damson (not sure which) tree has fair bit of fruit on it :D

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    My plum tree was full of blossom as per normal but not a single plum (not normal). Crap strawberries too. Apple tree quite loaded though :doh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
    My plum tree was full of blossom as per normal but not a single plum (not normal). Crap strawberries too. Apple tree quite loaded though :whistling:

    I expect the lack of Plums is due to the blossom/developing fruit being hit by frost; poor strawbs around here too but loads and loads of Alpine strawberries and Raspberries. Bumper crop on the Apricot tree at work - it's in a greenhouse though; jam making for me tonight. Has anyone ever made Medlar Jelly? If so, what's it like, is it worth the effort?

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    Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
    I expect the lack of Plums is due to the blossom/developing fruit being hit by frost; poor strawbs around here too but loads and loads of Alpine strawberries and Raspberries. Bumper crop on the Apricot tree at work - it's in a greenhouse though; jam making for me tonight. Has anyone ever made Medlar Jelly? If so, what's it like, is it worth the effort?

    Medlar Jelly

    2 kg (4lb) ripe medlars

    Sugar (300g)

    2 large lemons

    1 3/4 l (3 pints) water

    Wipe the medlars with a dry cloth, put them in the preserving pan with the water and simmer long and slowly to a pulp; this can take over an hour to reduce well. Strain in the jelly bag overnight. Measure the juice into the preserving pan, and for each 500ml (pint) of juice, warm 300g (12oz) sugar. Bring the juice to a simmering point, add the warmed sugar and the strained juice from the lemons. Dissolve the sugar. Boil fast and begin testing for a set after 8 minutes. When a soft set is reached, pour into 8 pz pots and cover. This jelly stiffens during storage. It is good to serve with lamb or boiled ham as well as for use as a table jelly.

    What's it like ? - Can be rather bitter if I'm honest. Best washed down with a good bottle of Cloudy Bay :lol:

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    Posted
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
  • Location: Orleton, 6 miles south of Ludlow
    I expect the lack of Plums is due to the blossom/developing fruit being hit by frost; poor strawbs around here too but loads and loads of Alpine strawberries and Raspberries. Bumper crop on the Apricot tree at work - it's in a greenhouse though; jam making for me tonight. Has anyone ever made Medlar Jelly? If so, what's it like, is it worth the effort?

    We have a medlar tree that's always loaded in fruit, and this year is no exception. I've not made medlar jelly, but I have made medlar wine. I don't like it — I guess it's a bit like Retsina. So far, I've not found anyone else who likes the wine either. Ripe or "bletted" medlars taste and smell a bit like rotten apples, so I wonder if the medlar jelly would be like that.

    I've got several Damson trees/bushes that are completely bare this year. Also a pear tree in the bottom orchard that was full of blossom has not a single pear on it !!

    We haven't got any damsons either (Shropshire) — absolute disaster. Trees are normally groaning under their weight. We don't have any plums either, but the raspberries are unbelievable in both quality and quantity — a possible "never to be repeated" event.

    Does anyone up in Cumbria have damsons this year?

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    Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

    Raspberry's good, Strawberry's good, Apples very good. Gooseberry's good, Redcurrant's excellent, but the birds had them and most of the Gooseberry's :lol: Almonds are good, about the same as last year, Walnuts total failure, unlike last year.

    Sorry, thought I would let you know about the Walnuts and Almonds for interests sake ;)

    The year may well turn out average here IMO

    Russ

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

    Funny you should say that Rusty, saw a Walnut tree on Sunday (Bradford on Avon) it was absolutely laden, never seen so many on one tree. Funny how it varies so much, area to area.

    Thanks for all the info on Medlar jelly; bitter, rotten Apples...mmm, not really sold on the idea then, don't think I'll bother. Always seems such a waste to see so much fruit go uneaten.

    Figs are doing well this year around here :lol:

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts

    Strawberries and Red Currants very good here, Raspberries quite good, at least equal to last year although they're nowhere near ripe yet.

    The posts above talking of Medlar jelly reminded me of Rowan jelly, has anyone made it?

    I remember about 20 years ago when Mrs Terminal had more time she was heavily into preserves of all kinds and I suggested we should try Rowan jelly. She agreed to give it a try and, never one to do things by halves, I picked a large hessian sack full from where I worked at the time.

    It took an age to strip them from the stalks and prepare them for the muslin but eventually we ended up with about 15lbs of the stuff. The morning after it was made I came down for breakfast, put about 4 slices of toast under the grill and, when it was nicely browned, lathered it with the Rowan jelly expecting something similar to Mulberry or Red Currant jelly.

    How wrong I was, it was bitter as quinine and with an equally bitter aftertaste which lasted for about 20 minutes; I persevered over several days in the hope it was an aquired taste but even in Rice Pudding it was no better.

    I came to the conclusion it was best eaten with savouries and, over a very long period of time, I eventually got down the whole 15lbs by eating very small amounts in conjunction with strong savoury dishes. Mrs Terminal couldn't manage it under any circumstances and has never made a second batch.

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    Posted
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
  • Weather Preferences: Extreme winter cold,heavy bowing snow,freezing fog.Summer 2012
  • Location: South Derbyshire nr. Burton on Trent, Midlands, UK: alt 262 feet
    My plum tree was full of blossom as per normal but not a single plum (not normal). Crap strawberries too. Apple tree quite loaded though :)

    My plum tree and my parents tree was full of blossom as usual, but my tree was hit by frost and 5 cm of snow, and the blossom was torched, my mums tree faired a little better as it is / was much bigger and had quite a few tiny plumes in May, but unfortunately was blown down during that NE gale, all that’s left now is a 9 foot trunk, so no plums.

    Apples are doing fine though as the blossom came after the frosts had gone.

    Strawberries and Red Currants very good here, Raspberries quite good, at least equal to last year although they're nowhere near ripe yet.

    The posts above talking of Medlar jelly reminded me of Rowan jelly, has anyone made it?

    I remember about 20 years ago when Mrs Terminal had more time she was heavily into preserves of all kinds and I suggested we should try Rowan jelly. She agreed to give it a try and, never one to do things by halves, I picked a large hessian sack full from where I worked at the time.

    It took an age to strip them from the stalks and prepare them for the muslin but eventually we ended up with about 15lbs of the stuff. The morning after it was made I came down for breakfast, put about 4 slices of toast under the grill and, when it was nicely browned, lathered it with the Rowan jelly expecting something similar to Mulberry or Red Currant jelly.

    How wrong I was, it was bitter as quinine and with an equally bitter aftertaste which lasted for about 20 minutes; I persevered over several days in the hope it was an aquired taste but even in Rice Pudding it was no better.

    I came to the conclusion it was best eaten with savouries and, over a very long period of time, I eventually got down the whole 15lbs by eating very small amounts in conjunction with strong savoury dishes. Mrs Terminal couldn't manage it under any circumstances and has never made a second batch.

    Never tried Rowan jelly TM, but sounded absolutely vile, :D lol, how on earth could you eat 15ibs of something that tastes awful, :D still laughing at the thought of you forcing the stuff down each night with your supper.

    Well my blackberries look as they are coming on nicely this year, combined with the apples, I will hopefully be enjoying large helpings of blackberry and apple pie for my supper soon.

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: N.E. Scotland South Side Moray Firth 100m asl
  • Location: N.E. Scotland South Side Moray Firth 100m asl

    Digital Confirmation, following starting of this topic! :D

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    Posted
  • Location: SE London
  • Location: SE London

    have had a great crop of blackberries around here so far this year. picked a load last week and added some brandy to them. delicious :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Hubberton up in the Pennines, 260m
  • Location: Hubberton up in the Pennines, 260m

    Tons of strawberries this year and lots of apples too, the blackberries above our house are in there thousands as well...bumper year! :lol:

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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
    have had a great crop of blackberries around here so far this year. picked a load last week and added some brandy to them. delicious :)

    All my blackberry bushes are still in flower - weeks away from berries here !!

    Elderberry have all turned to beautiful purple & Rowan trees are bursting. Damsons/Plums are about 75% down on last year though, no idea where they've all gone. *sob*

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    Posted
  • Location: Ashford, Kent
  • Weather Preferences: Anything
  • Location: Ashford, Kent
    Digital Confirmation, following starting of this topic! :o

    Please tell me where I can get a dairy milk bush :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'
  • Location: Sth Staffs/Shrops 105m/345' & NW Snowdonia 219m/719'

    Last year was the highest yield we have ever had from our damson trees with over 200lb being picked and probably as much again unreachable . There is barely a fruit on any of the trees this year. The April snow, when the trees were in full blossom, put paid to any chance of a crop.

    gallery_1217_70_17744.jpg

    Plenty of apples though so it'll be Cider rather than Damson gin this year! :unsure:

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