Fruits of the Forage make preserves, cordials and spirits with traditional heritage fruit and wild plants, capturing a unique and sustainable taste of the British landscape.
Fruits of the Forage was born out of the desire to use the fruit and wild plants we found to create products for the community, showing people the potential in undervalued and often overlooked ingredients. Our home county, Cheshire, is best known as a dairy county, however in the past orchards provided important crops here.
Small orchards across the county supplied rhubarb, pears, damsons, cooking apples and plums for market while pears and especially damsons were also used to dye cotton and silk spun in the mills across the region. On our endless search for fruit we found the remnants of these orchards and hedgerows, long neglected but still producing fruit. As we explored, we encountered fruit that we consider far superior for preserving needs compared to modern varieties bred purely for eating fresh.
Over the years our foraging map has grown, often aided by whispers of abundant fruit from people we met at markets and trade shows. As we expanded, the biggest boost to our fruit picking came from the Vale of Evesham. We’ve always had a passion for plums and damsons so Evesham, which was once the centre of plum growing in the UK, has become a special place for us. The plum growing industry there was built around plum varieties that were grown specifically for jam making and ideal for our preserving needs. We quickly found more plums than we ever imagined possible.
Ancient cooking pears and traditional plums really opened our eyes to the fact that we could pick fruit that would provide our range with unique flavours and be virtually impossible to buy from modern growers. As our knowledge of historic varieties of fruit grew, we realized these old forgotten fruits are a special corner of British heritage almost lost to time. In 2017 we started planting fruit trees to reverse this decline – head to our tree planting page to learn more about our planting project .
We firmly believe good preserves start with the best ingredients and how we source our ingredients is what really sets us apart. We don’t exclude any ingredients that have been forgotten, overlooked or deemed unworthy. We explain in more detail how we source our ingredients on our produce page.