Why are the best ones always furthest away?

The end of October is usually the time for us to harvest the apples from our one dessert apple tree. In fact this was one of the first things we did when we moved here almost three years ago, surprised to see the apples still hanging into November. We don’t know what variety the tree is (the previous owners told us their son had planted it from an apple pip), but it tastes okay and importantly they store very well. My records show we were still eating them in May!

So last weekend we got out our apple picker and picked as many apples as we could get to. We invested in the apple picker before we’d moved to Wales. I can’t remember why, because we didn’t have any fruit trees where we used to live. I think it was in anticipation of the day we may have our own fruit trees. So here we are with our very own tree, now able to make use of this tool. The pole and picker are made by Wolf-Garten, and once you’ve got the pole you can add a variety of attachments to it (including some useful window washing attachments). As with many tools, this is Simon’s domain, so he does the picking and I get the job of sorting and storing. I try to carefully wrap each apple in a sheet of paper (it’s actually the paper still left over from when we moved house) so that they don’t touch each other, which helps them last longer. The boxes are then stored in one of our sheds out of the light, and despite the freezing temperatures last year managed to last until May. They may go a bit wrinkly, but like us all they’re perfectly fine underneath!

Coincidently we attended a permaculture day not far from here, where they were demonstrating apple juice making. We had been asked to bring along any windfalls, so we gathered these up (excluding any that were really bad) and picked out some of the tiddlers that weren’t worth keeping.  They not only had a fruit press, but also a machine that cut and pulped up the apples to make pressing easier. You wouldn’t believe how much juice comes out of an apple when it is really squeezed. So we came away with a few bottles of very tasty juice (not sure if they were ours as everyone’s got bundled together).

We had some sad news over the weekend. We lost Coke, our Black Rock chicken – sister to Rum who died earlier in the year. Coke had been suffering from some crop-related problem (the crop was still full in the morning, when normally it should be empty). We tried giving her olive oil and massaging her crop, but on Sunday morning Simon found her under the perch. She had probably died from a heart attack in the night, so hopefully didn’t suffer. And in some ways it was better for her to go like that than for us to have to dispatch her. So we are back down to four chickens, none of which are currently laying, so for the first time in 18 months we will have to buy some eggs.

Leave a Reply

Modified version of the Summer Polaroid Pics template