In Cherry Heaven


I’m gorging on cherries, it’s such a treat. I rarely splash out on them in the shops, they cost a fortune and are often pretty disappointing too. Today’s cherries came from gorgeous Jen’s garden up the road in Clifton. I couldn’t believe my luck when she caught up with me in the school playground and invited me round to collect some. I seem to have gained a reputation for being a gannet; I’m thrilled, anyone’s glut will find a happy home here. The school gate brings many rewards: Jo’s quinces, Kate’s rhubarb, Dan’s cod (which Peter came home to find stuck in our letterbox one evening) and now a huge basket of Jen’s freshly picked cherries.

Imi and I arrived with our basket, fully expecting to be climbing ladders and putting in a bit of labour for our prize but Jen was up the tree in a millisecond and looked rather graceful and serene up there, a perfect photo opportunity. The tree was groaning with fruit, this blast of summer heat has obviously done the trick and she filled our basket in a matter of minutes. I tried to avert my gaze from the other trees laden with young apples and plums just in case I seemed to be eyeing up the next potential bumper crop, I don’t want to push my luck. One thing’s for sure, the ornamental cherry that’s just pegged it in our garden will be replaced with a fruit tree. In fact, why do we ever plant anything but fruit trees in our towns and cities? Just take a look at what Pam Warhurst has achieved with the Incredible Edible movement in Todmorden, Yorkshire, where virtually every inch of public land has been planted up with fruit and vegetables.

Now, as I dive into another cherry, I’m just weighing up what to do with the remaining kilo!
Perhaps some browned-butter and cherry muffins and then I can’t decide between a jar of pickled cherries and or a compote. First I may just go out and invest in a cherry pitter. Will it double up for olives too? I’ll let you know along with some recipes in the next few days.

  • Rent your own cherry tree ( – What an amazing concept! A bit too far for me, but surely some of those Somerset apple orchards could follow suit?

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