For the whole of July we have eaten fresh fruit every day – berries and currants of every kind and cooked fruit some days. The cupboards are stacked with blackcurrant, jostaberry and cherry jam, with redcurrant and whitecurrant jelly, and also with my concoction of cherry-redcurrant jam-elly. I made fruit leathers for the first time this year from white, red and blackcurrants and from jostaberries. But because I got a bit bored with the drying process and they didn’t entirely dry out I have frozen them to keep them until needed. There are gooseberries in the freezer too.
In line with the principle of forest gardening, “whether in abundance or not, harvest only enough”, I leave plenty for the birds and other creatures that like to eat fruit………and still the fruit keeps on coming; with the promise of yet more at summer’s end when the tree fruits ripen.
But in this ecological relationship between forest garden and forest gardener should we hold ourselves to do anything in addition to the support we gave to the garden to bear this abundance? Does the reciprocity embedded in the relationship need or imply anything else? Do we just take and that is it? What is an appropriate response? Can we demonstrate appreciation in any other ways?