Apple picking on 28/9/2011

A few of the apples on the two trees

View from the tree - Samantha shaking apples down onto the tarp, as seen by Fergus from the upper branches

Some of the apples we couldn't reach


Apple pickings begin – get involved






We’re starting to get offers of fruit coming up for the next few weeks – if you want to get involved, it’s not too late! We’re looking for enthusiasts to help pick, process and distribute fruit as well as donations of fruit.

Sign up to our mailing list at or e-mail us on for information about pickings.

We also have a group discussion list: for more in depth fruity chat.


Plum jam – from tree to jar

Picking the plums.

This was Abundance Edinburgh’s second plum picking, in Sciennes on the 9th of September.

I also had some plums from the first one two days earlier at Damhead (as featured on Radio Scotland).

Washing, halving and stoning...

Raw ingredients assembled.

Simmering the fruit with a little water...

Adding sugar.

This is what happens if you overfill the pan! (I decanted some of the jam into the small pan so as not to lose too much.)

Boil and bubble...

Jars warmed and sterilised with hot water.

The first jar filled.

The finished product.

Jam labelled and ready to go.

Blaeberry picking in the Pentlands – late, but not too late!

Swedish berry scoops - and our modest crop

I often go hiking in the Pentlands, but until last year I had no idea that the many of the low bushes I was passing on my walks carried edible berries. It was only after chatting to a Canadian woman who was picking them last summer that I found out what they were – blaeberries, a small, tart and (I think) tastier version of their fat foreign friend, the blueberry.

Last year I nearly broke my back bending over to pick the berries by hand (they are small and fiddly) – and ever since I’d been eyeing up “Swedish Berry Scoops” online. But part of me had felt like buying something in order to pick free fruit was still being part of general consumer culture, so I’d not ordered one.

The daily grind...

Luckily, I heard that Abundance Edinburgh not only had some of the scoops, but that I could borrow them for free. Result.

So, last week, we took some American friends and family out to the Pentlands, near to Bonaly Scout camp. As you ‘ll see from the pictures we made a day of it – I have a portable wood burning stove, which we brewed coffee and cooked lunch on, and we even had a mill to grind the coffee!



All gone!


The only disappointment was that we seemed to have left it rather late in the season to collect blaeberries. The bushes, which had been abundant just a few weeks ago, had only a modest amount of fruit. Still, it was enough for the kids to feast on, and it was good to finally get a go with the scoops, which are certainly efficient and easy to use. We reckon we’ve got enough left to make some blaeberry syrup to pour onto apple crumble.

But we’ll certainly be back next year – and by then, I aim to get their before the end of August, and have my own berry scoop to hand.