The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
This could have a happy ending but this story isn’t told yet.
Two years ago I had a bucket full of crabapples. A neighbour had an ornamental fruit tree in her garden and she assumed that the fruit wasn’t something you could eat.
But I decided something different. I found an amazing recipe for crabapple and chilli jelly. And sure enough those apples that she thought was some kind of cherry made great jelly!
So last year I was keen to repeat the success but unfortunately her crabapples were no good! the birds ate them, the caterpillars ate them, everything was against me, including the weather.
But I had a cunning plan.
At my work there were some crabapple trees that were just coming to fruit.
I asked permission to use them and soon had a small bag full.
But then I noticed something else.
On my way to work there was a small apple tree just by the side of the road.
It was strange because this little tree was on a patch of waste ground.
It was fairly neglected and a tree next to it was overgrown with ivy poor little tree, forgotten by everybody.
I decided to stop and take a closer look.
The tree was covered in crabapples!
They were larger than the ones I already had and a lot more prolific.
I could hardly believe my luck!
It was a bit of a gamble after all I don’t really know what the rules about scrumping are in Holland.
But the tree was in an open space so I decided to risk it and filled another bag with crabapples.
The resulting jelly was fantastic. I was really pleased and it meant that I’d foraged fruit that would not have been used and actually used nature’s resource at its source.
But of course there is a twist in this tale and involves a sad story.
Three reason it is on waste ground is because it’s in the middle of a project to redevelop the area where it’s growing. Over the last five years, a section of the housing has been demolished and rebuilt to provide different accommodation for local people.
The next section on the other side of the patch of waste ground has just been emptied and squatters have been removed. The board shown above is now on the waste ground and it’s a little bit of an omen.
No I’ve recently written that the Dutch are keen to sustain trees and keep them in place and permits are required if you want to cut one down. However I’m not sure whether this tree is large enough to actually survive and it may still remain in the way.
So today I stopped to take this photograph. Sure enough the tree is still there, the wasteground is getting more and more overgrown. It’s not clear what’s happening yet and it’s not clear what’s going to happen to this tree.
But to my surprise as I got closer to take the photograph I was amazed.
There on the branches of the tree were as many fruit as last year already. She is groaning under the weight of hundreds of small crabapples.
And amazingly enough, though it’s still July, those crabapples are deep, dark red.
It’s been a really mild spring and warm early summer. I wonder if the tree is trying to get her fruit before her fate is decided.
I think I may have to make my scrumping appointment earlier this year but either way, it looks like I’ll be making plenty of chilli jelly one more time!
have you ever scrumped apples or other fruit from somewhere? What was the story?
I hope I can give you a positive update to this story over the next few months. We shall have to wait-and-see.
Education Writer, Researcher & Policy Nerd.
Our homeschool journey one adventure at a time
Nerdy thoughts and musings