If you ever visit Hilly Fields park in Brockley during the summer, you may come across two women perched on a ladder picking crab apples or plums. What started as a pastime two years ago to use up the glut of fruit has become an exciting local business making preserves called Wild Brockley.
“It seemed like the ideal solution to use up fruit which would otherwise go to waste, and fruit in parks and gardens tend not to be sprayed with chemicals,” says co-founder Elisabetta Fumagalli. “And by cooking fruit the same day as its picked, ensures the flavour is preserved at its best.”
Wild Brockley has expanded in the last year to make a range of jams, chutneys and jellies all cooked in small batches with nearly half the amount of sugar than most shop bought jams. This emphasis on flavour, quality and sustainability is Wild Brockley’s hallmark and an aim they continually work to maintain. “We are always on the lookout for crops of the less common fruit such as mulberry and greengage,” says Moira Tait, Wild Brockley’s other half. “These are our most popular flavours from our jam range and if you let us pick fruit from your garden, we’ll give you a jar in return.”
Their latest venture is a range of unusual flavour combination such as Plum and Chocolate Chutney and Blackberry and Coffee Jam. “We are really excited about these new preserves and if people like them we will make more this summer,” says Elisabetta. If you’d like to sample the new range Wild Brockley are holding a Tasting Day at Pistachios in the Park café on Hilly Fields, on Saturday 11 May from 11.00 to 3pm. “We really want feedback from people and it seemed wholly appropriate to hold the event here where you’ll probably walk under one of the trees we’ve picked from!”
Visitors will also be able to taste and buy from their more traditional range, but if you cannot make the tasting day they deliver locally and sell at local delis: The Allotment in New Cross and The Hill Trader on Telegraph Hill.