VICTORY GARDENS: On Plums, With A Short And Tasty Digression On Other Stone Fruits
by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | Stone fruit season is so utterly glorious. One of summer’s pleasures is biting into a juicy peach or nectarine. While this is still possible, September is here whether we are ready for it or not.* Words like “Fall” and “back to school” might be on the tips of our tongues, but so is one of our favourite stone fruits: the underrated plum!
Apparently, there are between 19 and 40 species of plums in existence around the world, the most common being European and Japanese cultivars. Did you know that there are “Old World” and “New World” plums? Some have more of that visible “wax bloom” (dusty crystalline wax coating on the surface), while others have less. They’re not only amazing in the form of jams or tarts, but also when combined with savoury flavours. Plums are a great accompaniment to duck, rabbit and pork, especially with herbs like thyme and rosemary. We recommend that you be an optimist and make some poached plums to start welcoming the change in season; delicious goodness that celebrates the transition of late summer into fall.
*Panic attack: Let us digress for one second here, and please, for god’s sake, make a pitcher of sangria with nectarines and blackberries for one last summer hurrah and get the best of both worlds.
Phew. As we were saying…
Earl Grey Tea Poached Plums (extremely delicious on pancakes)
1.5 lbs plums of choice (Italian and red are good), pitted
4 cups water
4 tablespoons of loose earl grey tea
¾ cup honey
A couple splashes of brandy for good measure
Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and steep the tea for a few minutes. Strain tea and put water back in saucepan (you can also use a couple tea ball strainers if you don’t want the hassle). Add the plums, honey, brandy, and simmer for 10 minutes until the plums are tender. Cool and then do whatever you wish with them.
Where to find plums? The Vancouver Farmers Market has vendors offering biodynamic plums. Look for the rainbow awning with no distinct farm sign (obviously).
Victory Gardens is a team of local urban farmers for hire. Lisa, Sandra and Sam help transform tired or underused residential and commercial green spaces into food producing gardens. Their goal is to challenge the way communities use space and to participate in the change needed to consume food more sustainably. For the rest of the growing season, they’ve hooked up with Scout to share some cool tips and tricks on how to get the best from of our own backyards.