1. Take a ripe quince – yellow in colour and fine fur on the skin nearly gone
(This can be procured from a fruit market, supermarket or, if you are lucky, from a friend with a tree). There are several different varieties. We prefer the ‘Champion’ for its flavour. Note: A Quince cannot be eaten raw. It must be cooked by ‘poaching’ in water (stewed). Such delicious products such as, Quince Jelly, Quince Jam and Quince Paste can be made from this fruit. Incorporating quince with stewed apple makes a scrumptious dessert.
2. On a tray, place your quince on absorbent kitchen paper and leave it in a warm, dry place.
3. Allow it to go totally brown and awful looking but still dry and hard in texture. This may take up to a month.
4. After it has reached this stage, break it open with your hands from the centre node at the bottom of the fruit – this will locate the seeds in a group at the centre.
Do not use a knife, under any circumstances, as the soft seeds will be damaged!
5. Gently remove the pith. This will expose the seeds which should have already started to sprout.
6. Break apart the seeds that are in a bunch (approximately 4) and plant them in a small pot with a recycled plastic container to cover them. This will create a ‘mini glass-house’ effect.
7. In 5 months, you should have the start of a nice little tree to plant in your garden.
As well as being edible, the tree is also a very attractive ornamental with its beautiful pink and white, ‘rose like’ flowers in spring.