Pumpkin and apple gleaning

This time of year always sees a glut of pumpkins and apples. Our chef Keenan joined us for a day of apple gleaning and has some great tips for using up leftover pumpkins. Here is how he got on.


Here at Alchemic Kitchen our current thought is: what do we do with all these apples?

My first day on the team at Alchemic Kitchen was spent at Speke Hall’s orchard, picking the apples that ordinarily go unpicked. Lucy and I went along in the rain and quickly filled three crates with Cox and Bramley’s, me reaching the higher branches and Lucy the lower. I was amazed at how many apples lay on the ground, with more to pick in the trees, that would otherwise go to waste. It was a real eye-opening first day, it is one thing hearing about the Alchemic Kitchen and gleaning projects and another entirely to see the amount of food that is there (literally) for the taking in areas with public access. It is worth noting that Speke Hall are happy for visitors to pick apples in their orchard, so next time you visit why not grab a couple.

With amazing help from the gleaning team and a second visit to Speke Hall we now have an abundance of apples. We have rescued crates upon crates, in all shapes, varieties and sizes. What now?

No doubt, plenty of them are destined to become a key player in Lucy’s brilliant chutneys but there is a limit to how much chutney one person can make. So I have had to come up with some ideas of my own. In keeping with the time of year I have come up with a jam that tastes like cinder toffee apples, a spiced apple cake that’ll stick to your ribs and we are making apple blondies for the Green Summit later this week. This, all from apples that would otherwise rot on the ground where they fell.


Last week we used donated pumpkins to showcase just how much can be done with your Halloween decorations. We visited Eton Park in Prescott for the day to cook, chat and chop with the local community, before dishing out warming pumpkin soup. We talked up the benefits of seed saving and chatted through the recipe for the soup, handing out recipe cards as we went. It was a fantastic day and despite a few sceptics about the merits of eating pumpkin rather than just carving it, the soup went down a storm. In all, we served over one hundred portions, with people coming back for more.

We have just had another truckload of pumpkins donated to us, so follow our social media to see what they are being turned into and if you are interested in the recipes mentioned you can subscribe to our newsletter (no spam, we promise) for more on them.

If you would like to try our creations then look out for the launch of our online shop, where you can subscribe to one off or monthly deliveries of our products. They are delicious and reduce food waste, winner!