Leading foraging expert Chris Bax said the warmest spring on record has filled the nation's trees and bushes with blossom, which points to a bumper fruit harvest.
Wild raspberries and strawberries are already starting to show and there are good signs of a fantastic blackthorn crop; meanwhile, commercially grown strawberries are already 150 per cent up and grape harvests set to create new records.
All of which is music to the ears of the nation’s jam-makers. Once considered the preserve of older generations, it's enjoying a renaissance thanks to celebrity jam-makers like Kate Moss and Zoe Ball who have helped jam jars sales double in the last 12 months.
Mr Bax, who runs Taste The Wild and is an advisor to British cooker manufacturer Stoves, said: “We’ve had optimum growing conditions with a harsh, cold winter and a spring with little frost and the warmest ever temperatures – a perfect climatic event for our nation’s wild fruit and berries.
“I expect the country to be laden with fruit, and with wild species such hawthorn and wild cherry in abundance, it’s great news if you want to make your own jam with free fruit.”
To capitalise on the bumper fruit harvest and the appetite for jam-making, Stoves has commissioned Mr Bax to produce an iPhone app showing how to collect free wild fruit and berries with recipes for home-made jam.
The ‘Wild Jam Maker’ app lists fruits and berries growing wild in the UK and recipes include Sea Buckthorn Jam and Wild Cherry Jam. The free app can be downloaded from the Apple App store.
Jane Rylands, Stoves’ brand manager, said: “Jam-making is very much in vogue at the moment and with such a bumper crop of fruit this year, our free app will help Britain’s jam-makers find new and interesting recipes using ingredients direct from the land.”
Free fruit is bursting not just from the great British countryside, but also in our towns and cities too – you can pick rowan, blackberry and cherry plum in urban areas.
The world’s biggest jam festival – the WI Stoves Real Jam Festival – will take place in October this year. Last year’s event attracted more than 500 entries from men, women and children across the
For more information on Stoves follow @StovesUK on Twitter and www.facebook.com/StovesUK
Founded in 1920, Stoves is one of the UK’s best loved cooking brands. It is also one of the only major kitchen appliance brands still committed to manufacturing in the UK with 100% of its freestanding cookers, built-in ovens and hobs and range cookers assembled at its Merseyside headquarters. All products are designed and built in the UK specifically with British cooks in mind. Visit www.stoves.co.uk to view the full product range.
(EDITOR: When foraging for fruits always ensure you are legally entitled to do so. For example, it's best not to encroach on private land, without the permission of the owner)