Sunday, 16 January 2011

New Allotment and More Cherry

Next week I should be signing the lease on a new allotment. On Thursday I had a nose around the walled gardens where Mr Moon Gazing are and I are to have our allotment, we are sharing with two other families who are also treasured friends. The walls of the Edwardian garden have been restored with the aid of a lottery grant and the Prince’s Trust has provided an orchard and a small herb garden with culinary herbs. The old gardener’s cottage is being used as HQ and there are now chickens behind the house and plans for bee hives, it’s all so exciting!
 I was speaking to one of the committee members and mentioned my interest in herbs and have been asked to do some herb talks next year, I had to confess that I found the hedgerow around the boundary as interesting as the more formal herb garden but he doesn’t seem to mind which herbs I talk about.  I shall also be growing some herbs on our allotment plot with the agreement of my partners, we are being encouraged to make our allotments as attractive as possible and within keeping of the theme of an Edwardian garden. There also seems to be a scarecrow thing going on, they are everywhere!
 Last night I finally managed to see my friend with the Morello cherry, he gave me some twigs and this morning I made a tincture with the bark. Sarah had suggested that I could do a comparison between Morello and Wild Cherries so in 3-4 weeks I shall be able to start investigating. The patterns on the twigs and wood inside looked very much alike; the outer bark of the Morello cherry appeared to be darker brown. I have some Wild Cherry bark left which I intend to use to make a cough syrup in a mixture with other herbs for coughs.
 I found a recipe in the Hedgerow Medicine book this morning for a Cherry bark and Elderberry cough syrup. Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal’s recipe uses 1 part cherry bark tincture to 2 parts elderberry glycerite, for example, for a 150ml bottle of syrup you would use 50ml cherry bark tincture and 100ml elderberry glycerite. I have some dried elderberries and some vegetable glycerine so I shall try my first glycerite and then make this syrup as well as my other cough mixture.

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