April 22nd 2023 is Earth day, so we wanted to pay homage to one of our suppliers, Fruits of the Forage (who happens to be Supplier of the Month for April!). Their ancient methods of cultivating fruit and establishing fruiting hedges and traditional orchards in Northwest rural settings not only creates delicious preserves, but preserves the environment.
The inspiration for Fruits of the Forage came from a desire to put the foraged fruit and plants to good use in the local community by making useful, delicious and sustainable produce. Although Cheshire, where Fruits of the Forage is based, is today more widely recognised for its dairy industry, it was historically significant for its orchards.
In their never-ending quest to eat fresh and healthy British produce, they stumbled upon these abandoned orchards and hedgerows. During their travels, they came across a kind of fruit that, in our opinion, is preferable for preserving compared to modern types that are produced solely for eating fresh.
The growth of their fruit-gathering operations was spurred on in no little part by the Vale of Evesham. Because of our lifelong love of plums and damsons, the historic city of Evesham—once the UK's plum farming epicenter—holds a particular place in their hearts. Jam-making plum types were developed there, and the entire plum producing industry was founded on them. In a short amount of time, they discovered an abundance of plums.
Bringing Back Ancient Practises
The discovery of ancient cooking pears and traditional plums lead Fruits of the Forage to the possibility of sourcing fruit for their range that would provide distinctive tastes but would be difficult to get from conventional producers. As their understanding of rare fruit types deepened, they came to appreciate how much of British history is represented by these relics of the past. Fruits of the Forage started their mission to revive them with their planting project, with the first fruit trees planted in 2017.
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