Galloway’s Local Fruit & Nuts – Keep Your Eyes ‘Peeled’!

It is a busy time of year for the ‘Love our Fruit and Nuts’ project which is being run by South West Community Woodlands Trust – we are just about to see the main yields of fruit and nuts across the region!

Throughout the project so far, the group have been working with a whole range of partners and people to encourage the understanding, planting, and eating of locally grown fruit and nuts across the Galloway Glens area, based in the Ken/Dee valley in the Stewartry.

Jools Cox and Jenny Stephenson are co-ordinating activities and getting everyone interested in the amazing variety of fruit and nuts that either chart their origins to our region or have other connections. To date, they have delivered pruning and grafting courses, apple days, apple pressing events and community tree planting including working with schools in the Galloway Glens area planting heritage apple trees within school grounds.

Now, 2020 has not all gone ‘pear shaped’ and the Covid-19 restrictions have not ‘upset the apple cart’ as Jools and Jenny have temporarily replaced this summer’s pruning courses with a handy guide to prune your apple and pear trees, encouraging strong healthy branches and fruit production.

CLICK HERE (https://gallowayglens.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Summer-Pruning-Notes.pdf)  to download a copy of the Summer Pruning Guide.

CAN YOU HELP? –  The project is seeking new or existing fruit and nut recipes using local seasonal produce, home grown or wild. They would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved and are keen to include local businesses such as B&B’s, Cafes, Restaurants as well as children, who can ask their parents, grandparents or even their teachers for recipes or to make some of their own! See more here: https://gallowayglens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RecipesLeaflet2.pdf)

The other great news is Jools and Jenny are still planning to end the project during September 2020 with a bumper ‘Fruit and Nuts’ festival (adhering to social distancing rules) to celebrate and showcase the work of the project and the collection of recipes which will conserve the collection as a real legacy for future generations to come.

Apple Curd, Damson Cheese, Fruit Cakes, Cherry Conserve, Jams and chutneys are just a few ideas to whet the appetite! If you have any recipes to share, please send them in to Joolscox80@gmail.com. – For more information on how to get involved CLICK HERE.

The ‘Love our Fruit and Nuts’ project has been supported by a grant of £5,000 through the Galloway Glens ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grant Scheme.

 

Jools Cox, of the Orchard & Wild Harvest Project, South West Scotland Community Woodlands Trust said:

 “We are hoping to hold a Fruit and Nut Festival/Market on Kelton Fair Green, Rhonehouse on Sunday 27th Sept. with fully socially distanced stalls, games and apple pressing. We will showcase some of the activities we have been involved in during the last few months and will be pressing your apples! So bring them along and join the fun, start saving plastic milk containers to freeze the apple juice you squeeze. It is a bumper year for fruit, nuts especially berries so get picking and jam making and send your best recipes to me please so we can share them’.

 

The lead officer responsible for the ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grants Scheme is Galloway Glens Administrator, Jude Crooks who said:

“We are so lucky to have an abundance of fruit and nuts in the Galloway Glens area from raspberries, elderberries, hazelnuts, walnuts, pears, plums and the Galloway Pippin Apple. There is so much to learn and choose from the amazing array of items that have been used and placed on tables throughout generations and hopefully there is more to come. Our thanks go to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their support and partners including the UNESCO Biosphere and Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Environment Team.”

 

Galloway Glens Team leader, McNabb Laurie, added:

“It is this time of year that we start to reap the benefits of the local hedgerows and other sites around Galloway:  picking, eating, preserving and baking. This connection to the seasonality of food and how to capitalise on what we have is at risk of being lost and this project, supporting the great work that Jools, Jenny and their team is doing, aims to help us reconnect with this.”