Strolling through a walking track in South Buckinghamshire, I am amazed at the sight that greets me. Up ahead, the trees that line the track are filled with colourful fruit in varying hues of yellow, green and red, which hang like jewels from their branches. My husband, John, tells me that these are wild cherry plums, that you can pick them and yes, you can eat them. Foraging for fruit, he explains, is a pretty common activity in this part of the world. Not so common, evidently, since these trees are so laden with fruit, they are practically begging for someone, anyone, to come pick them.
A bagful of assorted plums later, we are satiated. We have enough plums to make a few bottles of jam, and even with my limited experience of jam making, I'm willing to give it a go.
Back home, I separate out the yellow cherry plums from the green ones from the red/purple ones and boil each batch up with sugar, the result of which is a lovely yellow jam and red jam. The yellow jam reminds me of apricot jam and the red plums taste a little between a cherry and a plum.
Its early days yet, but somehow, I think I'm going to become rather fond of this whole "foraging" thing......
Want to read more about wild plums? Try these....
Hank Shaw (U.S) on Wild Plums - Everywhere, and nowhere
Fiona Neville (UK) on Foraging for hedgerow fruit - wild (Cherry) plums, bullaces and wild damsons
Recognise some of the fruit in these pictures? Then, please leave us a comment.