Then your shrub level (using Patrick Whitefield’s 3 level arrangements as per his How to Make a Forest Garden), is hard at work. All those empty spaces are getting filled with berries, pepino, herbs, globe artichoke. But there is fruit from a plant that you might have seen but never tried – Fuchsia!
I was reading a great book by Mark Diacono named Taste of the Unexpected, and in this he mentions fuchsia as an edible option.
From page 81 of the 2010 hard copy:
Mini-batons, up to 6cm long, develop from the flowers, typically turning from green through reds to a deep purple. They may not be huge, but their flavour is so very special, with suggestions of kiwi, plum and sweet grapes, as well as a gentle edge of pepper that comes along near the end.
Buy or grow from cuttings One of the best things about fuchsia is that they take from a cutting very easily. So my advice here is to look be on the lookout for a plant with good sized flowers (which indicates the size of the fruit), and take a few pieces from it.
The general process for a fuchsia cutting is:
- Cut a section just below a leaf node
- Leave one flower and remove the bottom half of leaves
- Dip stem into hormone powder or gel (an option not essential)
- Push into some gravely mix and add water
- Keep the pot out of direct sunlight and keep the soil moist
Or you could buy some already established plants – it will be a heap quicker, but all up to you. This is a great example of the fuchsia shrub, sitting in filtered sunlight at the base of a Camellia.
The fruits are just waiting to be taken.
And here we go with the ripe fruit. Ready when soft to touch – remove and eat! Or turn into jam.