Tag Archives: fruit

Autumn in the Clwydian Hills

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Where I live Autumn has arrived! I do enjoy the different seasons and living in the Welsh countryside means I really notice how the year changes. At the moment the farmers are, well, farming! The stock is being moved, the sheep are shorn, the fields are being worked and the hay is in. Hens are laying ( eggs are always for sale at the farm gates). Vegetables are still cropping and being sold at bargain prices. The hedgerows are full of blackberries and my freezer is full of gooseberries and plums waiting to become jam.

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So for now, smile a while see you soon!

 

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Wordsmith Wednesday – Blackberry vs Bramble

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imageThe blackberry is a bramble

In British English, a “bramble” is any rough (usually wild) tangled prickly shrub—specifically the blackberry bush (Rubus fruticosus)—or any hybrid of similar appearance, with thorny stems. Bramble or brambleberry may also refer to the blackberry fruit or products of its fruit (e.g., bramble jelly). The shrub grows abundantly in all parts of the British Isles and harvesting the fruits in late summer and autumn is often considered a favourite pastime. It can also become a nuisance in gardens, sending down its strong suckering roots amongst hedges and shrubs.

Elsewhere, such as in the United States, the term “bramble” also refers to other members of the Rubus genus, which may or may not have prickly stems—notably the raspberry (Rubus idaeus) or its hybrids. The word comes from Germanic bram-bezi.

Bramble bushes have a distinctive growth form. They send up long, arching canes that do not flower or set fruit until the second year of growth. Brambles usually have trifoliate or palmately-compound leaves.

Bramble fruits are aggregate fruits. Each small unit is called a drupelet. In some, such as the blackberry, the flower receptacle is elongated and part of the ripe fruit, making the blackberry an aggregate-accessory fruit.

Many species are grown and bred for their fruit. Ornamental species can be grown for flowers (e.g. Rubus trilobus), for their ornamental stems (e.g. Rubus cockburnianus) and some as ground cover (e.g. Rubus tricolor). Members of the Rubus genus tend to have a brittle, porous core and an oily residue along the stalk which makes them ideal to burn, even in damp climates. The thorny varieties are sometimes grown for game cover and occasionally for protection.

Most species are important for their conservation and wildlife value in their native range. The flowers attract nectar-feeding butterflies and hoverflies, and are a particular favourite of Volucella pellucens.

Brambles are important food plants for the larvae of several species of Lepidoptera—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Rubus. The leaves of brambles are often used as a main food source for captive stick insects. Many birds, such as the common blackbird, and some mammals will feed on the nutritious fruits in autumn.

From Jam To Jar

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Ive been making Gooseberry jam this week. I must admit it is REALLY simple. Just boil equal measures of fruit to sugar and hey presto! Jam! A great gift and scrummy on scones. It’s confession time again. I have had these gooseberries in the freezer since last year, and they were perfectly fine.

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The gooseberry jam is destined to go into these vintage jam pots! Or vintage preserve dishes. (Sounds much posher doesn’t it?)

I am looking for more glass pots similar to the above for “Nanna Amy’s Vintage Tea Party” so if you know where there are any please let me know.

If I can find time this week I hope to pick some Blackberries from the hedgerows to make more jam.Yummy! The big plus is that they are free. I love FREE.

By the way, why does green Gooseberry jam turn to such a lovely shade of red?