Leave some apples for us please – parakeets colonising West Ealing

Indian parakeets

Maybe it’s my imagination but I’m sure that in the last few weeks I’ve seen and heard more parakeets about than ever.  It feels like West Ealing used to be at the edges of their empire and now we’re well and truly being colonised.  I’ve seen and heard them for some years but never have I seen them in our pear tree on Northfields allotments. Now I have and you can bet that they will have chomped their way through the pears at the top of the tree.  Also, in the last couple of weeks, the WEN Abundance volunteers have been picking apples off local trees and, again, the half eaten fruit off the high branches is a sure sign of parakeets.  I don’t think there’s anything we can do to deter them from eating the fruit.  I’ll just have to hope they leave enough for us earth-bound humans.

Can you help us? Walmer Gardens Orchard Clear Up Day Saturday 22nd August

Walmer Gardens Orchard Clear Up Day – 10am – 12pm – follow the path up to April Cottage when in Walmer Gardens W13 9TS

Walmer Gardens Map

Dear Neighbours

We have now had two successful  clear up days in the Orchard at Walmer Gardens, West Ealing, but there is still more work to be done! We are  still cutting the brambles, nettles, Ivy etc. and would love some more help to do this . If you are free then come along to Walmer Gardens with your garden gloves, secateurs and/or loppers. Clearing is quite hard work and only suitable for children over the age of 12. Please contact Diane Gill on wenabundance@gmail.com or 07736857700 for further information, otherwise we will see you there on the day!

If you can’t help with clearing, but have a car and would be willing to take garden rubbish to the dump please contact me or turn up at the Orchard on the day.

We are also looking for more expert volunteers, so if you know a bit about apples/pears and could help with picks later in the year please email me on the adddress above.

Many thanks and hope to see you there where Elizabeth and David will greet you.

A Successful Orchard Clear Up Day!

TIMG_3528he WEN Abundance team enlisted the help of neighbours living around Walmer Gardens for the first of our monthly clear up days in the council owned Orchard  we look after.  We cut down nettles, Ivy, elder and grass over a couple of hours and took a lot of rubbish to the dump too!  With a handful of people it is amazing what can be achieved.  There’s more to do over the summer months so if you fancy getting a bit of exercise in a beautiful location, whilst doing some good then contact Diane Gill on wenabundance@gmail.com to get involved in these clear ups.

The following dates are planned all from 10am – 12pm:

Saturday 18th July
Saturday 22nd August
Saturday 26th September.

See what West Ealing looked like 100 years ago and stock up with WEN Abundance produce at The Grosvenor on Saturday 4th October

The newly refurbished pub The Grosvenor has started to host pop-up stalls on Saturdays and WEN is there this coming Saturday 4th October from 12noon – 4pm. We’ll have our Abundance produce on sale and another chance to see our newly-launched exhibition of old photos of West Ealing.

Black Horse 1Black Horse 2

Changing times: Once The Black Horse pub and now the Cudi Food Centre
We launched our local history exhibition at the SoundBite Festival on 13th September and had a lot of interest. This exhibition of photos of West Ealing over the past 100 years is the start of our local history project. You can see how pubs, shops, Northfields, the Draytons and more looked in the early 1900s and now 100 years later.
Our Abundance stall will have apple juice, elderflower cordial, chutneys and more on sale – all made from locally grown produce.

If nothing else, just drop by for a drink and a chat as there’ll be a number of WEN members there.

WEN Abundance – Pesky parakeets pinch our apples!

Indian parakeets

Indian ring-necked parakeets – possible apple-eating culprits

There are all sorts of theories about how these Indian Ring-Necked parakeets came to this country – from escaping off the set of The African Queen being filmed at Shepperton Studios in 1951 to Jimi Hendrix releasing them in Carnaby Street in the 1960s. In the last few years their distinctive screeching has been a common sound and we’ve seen some in our back garden.  They love to perch right at the top of trees even when the flimsy twigs there barely seem strong enough to hold their weight. However, this year it seems they have taken a fancy to apples.

When we last visited the community orchard there looked to be a decent apple crop. When we went back to start picking we wondered where all the apples had gone? Gone to the parakeets is where they’ve gone. The owner of April Cottage next door to the orchard told us that he has seen parakeets eating the apples this year. They sit right at the top and work their way down. All part of living with nature I guess. Still, we hope to find enough apples from other trees to send some batches off for pressing in to apple juice.

We’re always keen to hear from people who want to volunteer to help with Abundance or who have surplus fruit they’re keen to see put to good use. Whichever it is you can contact us at wenabundance@gmail.com
And watch out for our stall at the SoundBite Festival in Dean Gardens on Saturday 13th September where we’ll have elderflower cordial, apple juice and chutneys on sale – all handmade from local produce.


New from WEN Abundance – apricot butter now available as the perfect accompaniment to cheese

Yes, you can grow apricots in this country!  They may have come originally from China or Armenia but they have been adapted to grow in colder climates. Normally, the tree on our allotment gets hit by a late frost and that’s usually just about the end of the fruit for the year. However, this year the conditions must have been almost perfect and we had a bumper crop. So once we’d eaten some fresh and frozen some for later we still had a stack left. After a bit of experimentation the decision  was – let’s make apricot butter. Fruit butter, like fruit cheese, is a perfect accompaniment to cheese (the dairy sort). The difference is simply the amount of boiling involved. Fruit butters spread like butter and fruit cheeses need slicing.

If you fancy a treat then drop in to Cheddar Deli on Northfield Ave and buy a jar of our apricot butter and just taste how good it is with cheese. It works best, in my view, with hard cheeses and creamy ones. You may want to think twice before putting it with a blue cheese but no harm in trying it.

Cheddar Deli are also selling our elderflower cordial, apple juice, chutneys and lemon elderflower marmalade. Some of our produce is also available through Edible Ealing’s box scheme and we’ve just delivered some to The Fox Craft Barn next to The Fox pub in Green Lane, Hanwell. So, you’ll find our Abundance produce somewhere near you.  If you can’t get to any of these outlets then do please email us – wenabundance@gmail.com – and we’ll see how best we can help.

Visit the WEN Abundance stall at the Hanwell Carnival this Saturday

Saturday is the longest day of the year so there’s plenty of time to come and visit our Abundance stall in the Artisan Food Tent at the Hanwell Carnival this Saturday from 12noon – 6pm.  We’ll have elderflower cordial, lemon and elderflower marmalade, and a selection of chutneys on sale.  All our produce is made from locally sourced ingredients and hand-made in small batches.

There’s loads more to enjoy at the carnival:

  • craft tent
  • dog show
  • children’s activities
  • live music
  • sports zone
  • animal zone …and much more

Full details here

Pop-Up market in front of Sainsbury’s West Ealing today and Friday

There will be a pop-up market in Melbourne Ave by Sainsbury’s from 11am -4.30pm today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday).  It’s backed by the newly established West Ealing Business Improvement District and is part of the ‘Love Your Local Market Campaign’.


Do please come along on one of the days and have a look. I know there’s a stall selling vintage inspired dresses and on Friday we will have our Abundance stall there selling the first of this year’s delicious elderflower cordial along with apple juice, lemon and elderflower marmalade and more locally sourced and made products.