On Bank Holiday Monday we were at the Pershore Plum Fayre. The five varieties of plum we took went down a storm with the large crowds which flocked to this event. It is good to see people willing and indeed wanting to try the more unusual varieties which are not found in the shops. This year our Merton Gems ( a really good eater, equal to if not better than the Victorias) and Burbanks (excellent for jam making as well as eating) were particular favourites.
It is proving to be an early season and there are a number of varieties which are now at their peak. We are keeping our prices the same as last year – PYO 50p lb and ready picked 80p lb so we do hope you will pay us a visit.
If the sun shines, afternoon tea in the orchard will be served, with home made jam of course! (£2.99).
The plum blossom has been excellent this year and the bees have been very busy. The frost has not been a serious problem and it looks as though there is a good set. So, here’s hoping for a good crop.
The apple blossom is still on the trees and looks lovely.
James Grieve – At present these apples are pleasantly acidic and refreshing and can be cooked if you find them too sharp for your taste. As the season progresses the flavour sweetens and becomes quite mild.
Worcesters – These apples are excellent if eaten soon after being picked. Some people detect a strawberry taste to the flesh.
Katy – This is a cross between James Grieve and Worcester and takes on the best of each apple. It is sweet and well liked, especially by children to whom its colour and flavour appeal.
Greensleeves – A cross between Golden Delicious and James Grieve. This is a very popular eating apple and will be available for a number of weeks.
Epicure – A sweet and juicy apple.
Bramley – A very good and well known cooking apple. A little early yet in the season to buy to store but excellent for immediate use or for freezing.
Coming soon …
Cox – Will be available mid September.
Yet again there were lots of visitors to the annual Pershore Plum festival which was held on August Bank Holiday Monday. Every year different types of plums ripen at different times and this year we had 7 varieties available for people to buy. These ranged from the well known Victoria to the slightly more obscure, yet popular, Kirke’s Blue
Mean while, back on the farm, people enjoyed the sunshine with afternoon teas and picking their own plums and apples in our orchard.
Any variety of plum lends itself to jam making but at present we have a number of varieties which are particularly good, Kirk’s Blue, Burbanks and Victorias.
Wash 6lbs of plums and simmer in a pan with 1.5 pints of water. When tender, lower the heat and add 6lbs of sugar (granulated is fine). Keep stirring until it is all dissolved to avoid it sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat to allow a rolling boil. Test for setting point after about 15 minutes ie when a drop of the liquid, placed on a cold saucer, wrinkles after a couple of minutes when pushed with your finger.When this happens, pour the jam into very clean, warmed jars and then cover with a wax circle and then a cellophane cover when the jar is cold. Label and enjoy!
On August Bank Holiday Monday Pershore will be hosting their annual plum festival. We will have a stall opposite the Abbey, next to St Andrews Church with a number of different varieties of fresh seasonal plums.
On the Monday we will also be serving afternoon teas in our orchard on the A44. Try our freshly made scones and home made plum jam.
One of the most sought after British plums is the Victoria which is now available to pick, but here is some interesting history for you:
- The plums grown in Britain are derived from fruits originally from Damascus, Syria and Persia
- The plums were initially brought to Britain by the Romans
- The modern plum was found by nurseryman Mr Denyer in a garden in Alderton in Sussex.
- Prior to the plum being sold to Mr Denyer the plum was named “Sharp’s Emperor” or “Alderton”
- Mr Denyer sold these plums as “Denyer’s Victoria” after Queen Victoria who was crowned in 1837.
The problem with these is that there is no place named Alderton in Sussex, so where could this have come from? Some people believe that Alderton is a typo and should really be Walderton. A second theory is that the name Alderton is actually that of the person who found it rather than the name of the place. The third theory is that the plums come from Alderton in Suffolk which is home to the Gage family who were involved in the development of a number of other plums.
We are currently open 9am – 6pm daily with a large selection of both pick your own (PYO) and ready picked fruit.
Plums currently available are
Prolifics – good for eating and for jam making
Heron – excellent for eating
Purple Pershores – good for eating and excellent for jam making and freezing
Yellow Pershores – excellent for jam making and bottling
Opals and Czars – good for eating
The above are PYO 50p/lb , £1.10/kg; ready picked 70p/lb, £1.50/kg
Apples currently available are
Beauty of Bath – eater
Discovery – eater
Grenadier and Bramley – cookers
PYO Barmleys – 30p/lb , 65p/kg; ready picked 50p/lb, £1.10/kg
Blackberries, Potatoes, Onions and local Honey
This year the plum blossom is about two weeks later than last year. The warm, still days in the middle of April encouraged the bees to fly and the white plum blossom to set quickly. Frost has affected the plum section of the orchard on a few days during “Blossom Time”, the clear mornings has had some affect on the fruit but it is too early to identify how much damage has been caused. Fruit does benefit from a small amount of frost, as it causes the remaining fruit to increase in size since there are fewer apples or plums using the trees limited resources.
The apple blossom started at the beginning of May but the cold weather has slowed the set. The pink apple blossom surrounded the edges of the orchard. When in bud the blossom appears as pink but as the apple buds open the blossom turns through pink to white. The crab apple blossom on the front of the orchard is darker pink or crimson in colour.