Monday, 10 August 2015

Cherry Plums from the Edible Hedgerow

One of the first things I did when we moved in was to plant an edible hedgerow, more for the hedgerow and the birds than for its harvest. It's only a token hedgerow really and doesn't go far towards making amends for the miles and miles of missing wildlife corridors and habitat which farmers have destroyed over the years to accommodate their bigger and bigger machinery. Mind you, here on the fens there probably never were too many hedgerows, just dykes, but a few hedgerows wouldn't go amiss.

I don't intend to lay my hedge as it doesn't need to keep livestock in or out, but I did prune it heavily for its first two years to encourage a nice bushy base.

So now, approaching its fifth winter, my hedgerow has flourished. I even think it had nesting sparrows in it this year. If not nesting, they certainly made extensive use of it.
For the first time it is keeping up to its promise of being edible with a good harvest, several kilograms, of cherry plums already and more to come. The blackthorns are dripping with sloe berries and there are elderberries and rose hips too. We'll have to wait a while longer for hazelnuts and wild pears and the blackberries never got established.

I've since planted the same length of hedge and more again, so in a few years time we'll be overflowing with hedgerow fruits.

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