Damson Jam


Does burying a cat under a fruit tree increase its yield?

My preliminary thoughts on this matter are that yes it does.

I planted the damson tree in the Pear garden on top of our lovely kitten Fidel (tabbies are always named after revolutionaries in this house) just a few years ago. Last year I had my first damson harvest and then this year my friends and I picked nearly 18kg of damsons from it. In contrast, two damsons planted earlier in the main orchard are still only producing a measly kilo or so of fruit.

Of course they are different damson types and the location is significantly different too  – the Pear garden is very sheltered, but I like to think that little Fidel is having a positive benefit on our damson production.

Once you have picked this many damsons though you need to do something with them fast. Kerry stoned virtually all of them. Yes, Jude, Holly and I helped, well we pretended to help and then got distracted, but Kerry worked her way through the vast majority of them – thank you Kerry.

stoning damsons

To be fair I made 8 kilos of them into jam so I wasn’t just lying around. I like my damson jam to be a little sharp – with my damsons an equal amount of sugar to damson produces this.

I kind of feel bad even writing a recipe for damson jam as it is so easy. If you find some damsons or bullaces definitely make it – or come and buy some of ours.

Damson Jam: 2kg stoned damsons, 2 kg of sugar, large splash of water.

Put the damsons in a preserving pan with a large splash of water and the sugar. Gently heat and let the sugar dissolve and the damsons begin to cook. Then increase the heat and boil until the setting point is reached – test either with a thermometer or with the wrinkle test – jam that is at the setting point will wrinkle slightly when a little is put on a cold plate and pushed with your finger. Pour into sterilised jars.


N.B. Of course I am not advocating the wanton killing of cats in order to increase the productivity of your fruit trees. We just like to plant trees over our loved ones be they human, feline or canine.


4 responses to “Damson Jam

  1. ummm, maybe, in a way – is it wrong not to be upset by that thought? Uh oh, my dad is buried under a plum tree and we eat the plums from that …… right stopping this line of thought right now!

  2. ‘We shall all have etten thee’…You can leave the stones in if you’re making jam. They do float up to the surface as the damsons cook, and you can fish then out and suck off the juice.

    • Generally I do leave the stones in and pick them out once the jam is made, but if you have a lovely friend who offers to stone them for you, ou certainly don’t say no, well you don’t in this house 🙂

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