Wild plum trees are scrappy. They sprout up in ditch banks all around Boise, particularly along the Boise River. In the spring they're one of the first trees to bloom—in fluffy popcorn tufts of white and purplepink. And in the summer they sprout tiny, tart plums in shades that range from banana yellow to fuchsia to deep purple. You might have stepped on some splattered on the Greenbelt and thought, “Gross, someone should cut down this dumb tree!”
But did you reach up and pluck one off the branch and pop it in your mouth? When perfectly ripe, wild plums are a juicy reminder that sometimes nature doesn’t need a whole lot of nurture to produce something super delicious. And when fermented, they make a tasty AF fruit wine. Just ask Chef Alex, who's had a long obsession with crafting fermented beverages from wild fruit and honey.
For our wedding, Alex scavenged the Boise River Greenbelt for the most interesting wild plum saplings he could find. He potted them, watered them and nurtured them over the summer months. And when our wedding rolled around in September, we gave our guests tiny wild plum trees as gifts. Some folks even planted them in their yards at home!
In a more general sense, wild plums are a metaphor for what we believe in as a business. We strive to showcase the foods that grow great in this region—from thoughtfully raised meats and veggies, to wild harvested native fruits and plants. We think that foods that are grown here taste better than foods that aren’t. That’s why we serve as many local foods as possible when they’re in season.
And that’s why, in the summer months, when we're not cooking up food for weddings and dinner parties, you’ll find us strolling along the Boise River—and the dusty back roads outside of town—searching for that perfectly ripe wild plum tree saddled with tons of juicy fruit. If you're lucky, you might get to taste some of our homemade wild plum jam spread on a thick slice of local bread with a hunk of tangy local cheese.
Wild Plum owners Alex Cardoza and Tara Morgan in a fruit orchard on their wedding day.