Don't Dismiss Our Delightful Damson's
With all the rain this summer it’s been a good season for fruit such as plums and apples. However the humble Damson, an old English favourite in the past is suffering from a lack of popularity. When did you last see this small, sour plum in the green grocers or even its jam in the shops?
Damson trees usually produce fruit for 30 years but British farmers are not replanting the trees anymore as they seem to have fallen out of favour with the British public who in turn seem to be buying more exotic fruits in the supermarkets. Three decades ago 500 tonnes of the fruit were sold annually but this year it fell to below 100 tonnes. The industry was also rocked when organic juice company ‘Innocent’ cancelled a massive order.
So does this spell the end for the delightful damson? We certainly hope not and that’s why we’ve included 4 eco tips this month which we hope will encourage people to rediscover the damson and choose local fruit over imports.
- Support British farmers and growers by buying the fruit and its jam at local Farmer’s and Country Markets.
- If you do pick some in the wild and have room for a damson tree in your garden why not plant the stone, it may be a long time before it bears any fruit but who knows it may help preserve this soon to be endangered species.
- Follow this recipe for damson jam and share it with your friends, especially those who have never tried the fruit before.
- Where possible buy local or British grown seasonal fruit over imports.
Other hedgerow fruit to go out foraging for at this time of year include blackberries although best to avoid the side of busy roads. Just give the berries a good wash when you get home. Elderberries can also be found in abundance at the moment and can be made into syrup, wine, pies – lots of possibilities! Just make sure you pick the ripe, purple-black berries for best results.