As a child I was told crab apples were poisonous, a belief I harboured for years, and indeed was shocked when I bit into one for the first time ever this week. I’m sure a lot of people look at the miniature fruits and don’t realise their potential, and although I won’t be scoffing dozens of them any time soon (even the sweeter ones are quite tart and suck up all the water from your mouth) I will be experimenting with putting them in pies, making wine and jelly!
On Norton Lees Crescent, however, some residents have been getting crabby about said crab apples, and have complained to the council about the trees making a mess of the path and indeed becoming a health hazard. Abundance volunteers decided to take a trip up the hill to see if we could persuade the locals of the delights they have lying on their doorstep. On meeting some residents we found out that the dozens of trees growing up the street were planted by families living there over 60 years ago, however while the beautiful blossoms are looked upon with a smile, the fruits are upsetting some with the mess they create when they begin to drop.
It would be impossible for Abundance to pick and use all of these crab apples down this one street, as there are just so many, and we have a whole city to harvest! But if the community works together, it would take the apples away from littering the pavements and instead into someone’s larder. The fruits can be used to produce a spectacular jelly preserve, with much less effort than most jams, since the jam is strained and no time is spent with fiddly peeling and coring.
This is exactly what Abundance will be doing this Friday evening, making giant vats of Jelly with the forty-something kilos of apples we harvested at the weekend. We’ll seal them up into little jars, and distribute them along with a recipe and a message of goodwill. Thus hopefully inspiring the locals and encouraging them to love what’s falling on their pavements every year.
If you’d like to come, please contact Daniele on 07984 310 412!