Posts Tagged ‘wild plums’

Well, it’s not really wild, is it? It’s more like feral…escaped from cultivation, neglected, fending for itself.

Country roads here are lined with fruit and nut trees, a tradition from the past now becoming rarer. New plantings seem to be Norway maple or other ornamental trees. But there are plenty of old plantings left and that is what we look for on our fruit foraging expeditions. We try to find them along little-used back roads, or set back from the roads as the exhaust from traffic is not something I want to be consuming on my fruit.

On this day we were after wild plums. Last year we found a couple of great trees on the road from Tuchomerice to Pazdrna, but those either didn’t set fruit this year or someone beat us to it! We did find a few loaded trees in that vicinity, though, and set to picking.

Yellow Mirabelle plums.

The girls, however, were hoping for apples. We found some, but it’s a bit early.

The roads are lined with fruit trees.

I think the the girls like climbing more than the fruit itself!

The fruits of our labors.

Why do we do this? First off, it’s thrilling to come home loaded with full buckets of delicious, free fruit, and the question of legality only adds to the thrill. We don’t pick from trees that clearly belong to someone, or we’d certainly ask if we did. But these trees are along roads and paths, the fruit just seems to drop and rot year after year, so we figure we might as well help ourselves. I wouldn’t know who to ask, anyway, and most people passing by don’t seem shocked or outraged. So, we figure it’s okay. But we listen for police sirens…

Secondly, spending the day with the kids in the countryside is lovely. The birds sing, the crickets chirp, the sun shines, the breeze blows, the Czech countryside is beautiful…what’s not to like?

And thirdly, we eat it all winter long…

Plum jam, apple sauce and tkhemali.

Grand total: 5 quarts and 1 pint of apple sauce, 14pints and 1 quart of wild plum jam, and 10 beautiful jars of tkhemali. Tkhemali is a Georgian condiment, sort of a plum ketchup, made by friend and neighbor Andrea. Hopefully she will do a guest post soon and explain how to make it (hint, hint).

We’re off to the woods for blackberries soon and more apples in month or two!

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