Has it been a bumper year for plums? It has in our garden with the trees laden with damsons, blaisdons, cherry plums, mirabelles. The thing is, I never seem to get to the fruit before it falls to the ground, and the dog keeps eating the bounty (stones as well), before I can scoop it up for jam. Anyway I think I’ve got enough for a few jars of ‘fallen fruit jam’. Whether I get round to making it remains to be seen! The mirabelles look particularly lovely and are really easy to stone, so there is hope for them. If I’ve got enough – ‘mirabelle vodka’ sounds enticing. And it looks like there is going to be lots of sloes this year too – so sloe gin will no doubt be made, and last years will make a Christmas appearance. The hedges also look laden with blackberries (not ripe yet), but with so little rain earlier in year I wonder how big they will get. I noticed the supermarkets are selling jam jars for jam making (why not just re-use old ones?), and fruit bottling jars, obviously not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to capitalise on the perceived ‘make do and mend’ mentality that is gripping the nation. I even read in Leo Hickman’s column that Tesco sells chicken houses. As my mother-in-laws says “Whatever will they think of next?”.