Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. I was born in 1989 in Cesena (FC), in the region of Emilia-Romagna, in northeast Italy. If you eat cherry stones a cherry tree will grow in your belly [London University of the Arts, October 2013].

2. [1960s] In Liverpool the stones from cherries were called cherry-wobs. As girls in school we used to count these and other fruit stones on our plate: ‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief’. Whatever you landed on was supposedly your future husband’s profession.
Fresh cherries were a special summer treat. We used to hang the doubles and triples from our ears like earrings, then dangle each fruit into our mouths slowly by the stalk. But nothing tasted quite so wonderful as sweetened stewed cherries [Childwall, Liverpool, May 2013].

3. My mother, who is 86, says that she remembers from her childhood in Higham Ferrers, Northants, that … cherry stones [were counted to foretell who you would marry using the rhymes] ‘Tinker, tailor …’ and ‘Silk, satin, muslin, rags’ [Waltham Abbey, Essex, May 1991].

Image: Balham market, London Borough of Wandsworth; July 2014.