I stuck in my thumb…


The summer holidays have started. I rarely see a teenager around the house before 11am. The long school holiday in July and August was created so that children could help bring in the harvest… after a late breakfast presumably.

Plums. We have a glut. The combination of winter cold, spring sunshine and summer rain has given us a bumper year for soft fruit. The large tree, which usually only yields a handful of wasp-gnawed purple goo is bowed down with dozens of sweet, juicy, Waitrose-quality plums. And there are very few wasps around, thanks to my pre-emptive strike against this year’s record of three nests in the roof.

The trouble is that all the plums on the tree are ripe now. There are two smaller plum trees where the fruit will be ripe next week. If they are not picked promptly they will begin to rot.

It is not possible for the average family to eat more than one kg of plums each day. I estimate that there are 30-40 kg on the trees. They all need to be harvested NOW and prepared for the freezer. Unfortunately I have to go to work.

Tomorrow the children will bring in the harvest. It’s what holidays are meant for.

7 Responses to “I stuck in my thumb…”

  1. 1 Andy, Perth

    We had a plum glut last year.
    Lots of plum jam, plum chutney and stoned & halved plums stored in the freezer.
    So there`s lots of things for the young harvesters to be doing once they`ve finished labouring in the garden!

    • Andy – I’m just about to load about 15 litres of pie-ready plums into bags for the freezer. No one helped with the preparation. I will remind them of this when I make a pie in a few weeks.

  2. Only this morning I was discussing the possibilities with MOB…
    plum puddings (of various types for the next month), plum jam, plum ice cream, plum gin, plum vodka (I have some special alcool from France for steeping fruit in), plum jelly.

    Having still got some dessicated left overs from last year on the tree I’m going to try and make prunes.

    • Good luck with the prunes…
      I tried plum vodka in Poland… or Romania… or Hungary perhaps. I can’t remember where it was. Or how I got home.

  3. 5 ann

    Ooh, child labour, a minefield nowadays.
    Hopefully you have considered all the relevant risk assessments and provided training, safe equipment (certainly NOT ladders) and protective equipment?
    What happened to the good old days when they went up chimneys without complaining.

    • Funny you should mention H&S. It didn’t cross my mind as I sent teenage son up the stepladder and told him to perch on the very top to reach the highest fruit. But I did ask him to put the ladder away properly afterwards in case someone tripped over it.

      None of my children have ever gone up the chimney without complaining. How did you make yours do it? 🙂

      • 7 ann

        Wait until Christmas, and tell them Santa left their presents at the top when he was struggling to fit down the shaft!

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