One thing I would usually look forward to this time of year is the imminent arrival of autumn, complete with beautiful leaves, crunching around parks and hunting for damsons , blackberries and any other hedgerow delights. Since moving to Utah I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled, when the Mormons first settled SLC the soil was either really fertile or they worked incredibly hard to make it so. Along many streets there are fruit trees, and remnants of old orchards. Mostly apples, some plums, and a few peach trees. I’ve seen a few apricots growing in peoples gardens but not too many available for picking.
Whilst consulting the googlewebs for possible fruit locations I first came across this amazing website, falling fruit, which lists free fruit foraging spots all over the world. Awesome! This lead me to find the green urban lunchbox. A local scheme that lists volunteer fruit picking events, often in community veg patches or orchards or peoples excess fruit trees. The idea is that you sign up for an event, go help for a few hours to pick fruit or whatever, then you keep a third – for free! give a third to food banks and a third to the owner. Win win win. I loved the idea of this and signed up for a few events. So far I’ve already picked pears, plums and apples, and am looking forward to some more fresh produce. The picking is interesting and I’ve now learnt some different types of apple trees and how to use an apple picker.
More excitingly I’ve been looking at what to do with my hoards of hard picked fruits. Since seeing a picture on fb the other day of a cheese and Branston pickle sandwich, I’ve wanted one sooooo badly! I am fortunate to have found an English imports shop down the road – twirls, scones, monster munch, clotted cream, proper tea and other awesome delights although the pickle is incredibly pricey. I thought I’d test out some of my chutney recipes and start research pickle ones to try my hand at making some. This weekend is set to be another scorcher but I’ll be spending some time in my kitchen pickling some apples. Any one have any good chutney recipes please do share!