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Crabapples hedgerows and a book



Could I plant my own hedgerow?

That's what I thought to myself as I looked at a wild and unkempt space in the garden. It's a thin piece of land, on the boundary, running along the vegetable patch and is full of weeds like blackberry, nettles and wild potatoes. In my mind I can picture a rambling, dense row of trees that I could tenderly nurture myself.  I would plant crabapples, damsons and sloes, a rosehip, a medlar or two and even a quince.

T'would take a bit of work in the first few years, to prepare the ground before planting, protect the little trees from possums, and make sure they had plenty to drink until the hedgerow was established. But after a few years, it'd be marvellous not to have to scramble down snakey ditches on scarily busy highways to score that lovely wild fruit. It would be right there in my garden. And I dream of all the deliciousness I could preserve with the bounty.

Roadside scrambling aside, I did get a decent haul of crabapples from the garden this year, at least 10 kilos off my crooked little tree. It was so prolific, there was enough fruit for the parrots to feast on as well as enough for me, which is a very rare occurrence around here.

What to do with all the crabapples, you ask? I could pickle them I suppose, preserve some in syrup, but I just so happen to I have a copy of this new beautiful new book, Not Just Jam.  A book that I had the pleasure of not only styling, but I actually wrote a lot of the recipes too, so you might say I co-authored it, or perhaps you might say I was the recipe developer. Either way, I'm as equally thrilled to have my name on the title page, and to have worked on such a gorgeous book.

Just as the title suggests, there are not just jam recipes, but pickles and sauces too. And jellies.  Which brings me to the crabapples, patiently waiting to be turned into jelly.  Crabapples make the best jelly, as they're so high in pectin it sets really easily, so its not too sweet, and is the most rosiest of pinks. It can be used like jam, but I like spoonful on the side of my plate with roast pork, or roast lamb to cut through the riches, a bit like apple sauce but fancier.

You can find the recipe for crab apple jelly here, along with a few others from the book. In the meantime, I'm off out to the garden to measure that space, to see if I really could plant my own hedgerow.








10 comments:

  1. Yes! I've been thinking about planting my own hedgerow too. We have a horrible conifer hedge down one side of the garden that I desperately want to replace with all those lovely things you mentioned, plus maybe some hawthorn, elderflower and those little mirabelle plums. A beautifully delicious, wild bit of garden. The crabapples, and the book, look gorgeous.

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    1. I love a bit of a wild garden too! Sounds like the perfect spot for your to plant one. x

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  2. I can only imagine how gorgeous this book is! x

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  3. I'm so going to make that crabapple jelly - been wanting to try it for years and was recently gifted with a big bag of little apples - not sure of the variety but they are smallish and tart little suckers - figured they'll work for a crabapple jelly... and yes, do plant that hedgerow of apples and rosehips and damsons and sloes and quince - it sounds dreamily delicious and from another time all together, can only imagine how pretty it would be too.

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    1. Perfect! Let me know how you go!

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  4. The hedgerow sounds like a fantastic idea! I've got a some sort of apple tree (I can only guess) growing in the apartment garden but it's very neglected but I pretty sure it's a type of apple because I grabbed an under ripe fruit last season and chopped it in half and it has an apple like texture/centre. No idea what apple it is though... it's a spindly bush and the fruit grows to golfball size and have funny sprouty bits on their bottoms, kind of like a pomegranate then the possums get to it and it's all over after their feast. I should try and take a photo of it when it fruits again :)

    I've seen 'Not Just Jam' in the bookstores and flicked through it, it is beautiful and makes me want to fill my pantry full of jars! Really need to get my hands on a copy :) It will probably answer my 101 preserving questions hehe :) x

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    1. It does sound like a crab apple Dani. Hopefully it will answer some of your questions! xx

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