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Permaculture is NOT just about trees, or just about gardening! You don't need loads of land to practice it and it's a design method that can be applied to all social systems.

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In the Kitchen: Elderberry & Pear Chutney



With a proliferation of elderberries and plenty of windfall pears at the moment, this elderberry and pear chutney recipe has been a tasty way to ensure that none go to waste.

As with most of my recipes, my quantities are vague and my ingredients interchangeable. Taste it when it’s boiled down and tweak the sugar / vinegar / spices to suit you. You’ll need to allow a small portion to cool down in order to get a realistic taste. In this one you could substitute apples for pears, or tweak the quantities of each so long as the total volume of fruit stays around the same. Last time I made this I used dried raspberries instead of the more usual sultanas or raisins.


Left: Chief elderberry tester, George. 



You’ll need:

  • 1 kilo each of prepared elderberries, pears and onions
  • 275g dried fruit
  • 650 ml vinegar (try using home made fruit scrap vinegar made using pears)
  • 750g sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons each of ginger, mixed spice, ground black pepper and salt to taste

Prepare your elderberries by separating from the stalks. The easiest way to do so is with a fork, although go gently or you’ll just tear them. Prepare your pears by peeling, coring and chopping into small pieces, and your onions too.

Chuck the whole lot in a pan and boil it up until it’s the right consistency. Taste, tweak, bottle :)





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