Exploring Galloway’s heritage fruit and nut varieties

This week saw the launch of the ‘Love our Fruit and Nuts’ project which will see South West Community Woodlands Trust working with a whole range of partners and people to encourage the understanding, planting and eating of locally grown fruit and nuts across the Galloway Glens area, focussed on the Ken/Dee valley in the Stewartry.

The project will also promote health and wellbeing, enhance biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions. With the help of the Community Orchard Groups, Schools, Land owners and Local communities the project will support local biodiversity by planting trees, delivering grafting & pruning courses and talks, holding ‘apple day’ events and maintaining domestic and native fruit and nut trees.

South West Community Woodlands Trust leaders Jools Cox and Jenny Stephenson will be co-ordinating activities and getting everyone interested in our local heritage fruit and nut varieties. The project will be run over two years and will end with a ‘Fruit and Nuts’ festival to celebrate and showcase the work of the project and the new collection of recipes which will conserve the collection as a real legacy for future generations.

The project is seeking new or existing fruit and nut recipes using local seasonal produce, home grown or wild. They would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved and are keen to include local businesses such as B&B’s, Cafes, Restaurants as well as children, who can ask their parents, grandparents or even their teachers for recipes or to make some of their own!

Apple curd, Damson cheese, Walnut sauce, Cherry conserve, Fig jam, Vegan nut cheese, Gooseberry chutney are just a few ideas to whet the appetite! If you have any recipes to share, please send them in to Joolscox80@gmail.com. – For more information on how to get involved CLICK HERE.

The ‘Love our Fruit and Nuts’ project has been supported by a grant of £5,000 through the Galloway Glens ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grant Scheme. Members of the Galloway Glens team met the South West Community Woodlands Trust at the Threave walled garden to present the cheque – a perfect backdrop with the pear trees just starting to blossom!

Jenny Stephenson, Orchard and Wild Harvest Project Co-ordinator, said:-

I am excited to be working with people to plant fruit and nut trees so that we can eat food grown locally, which reduces food miles, resulting in less fuel consumption and emissions too.

Jools Cox, SW Community Orchard Trust Administrator, said: –

I have been planting fruit trees in Dumfries and Galloway for the past ten years and it will be exciting to taste some new recipes using the local fruit. I have spoken to several restaurant owners and they are keen to get creating! So please everyone get on board and show what our fabulous environment can produce!

Jude Crooks, Galloway Glens Scheme Administrator said:

From local elderberries and raspberries to the famous Galloway Pippin apple, the Galloway larder has brought some unique items to our table through history and we need to understand and cherish the local fruit varieties. The Galloway Glens Team look forward to working with Jools, Jenny and the South West Community Woodlands Trust to really raise the profile of our local varieties and protect them for generations to come.

PHOTO CREDIT: GALLOWAY GLENS, L-R: Jude Crooks – Galloway Glens Administrator, Jools Cox and Jenny Stephenson from South West Community Woodlands Trust