Back in action as the Apple season is here, the emails are arriving, we have been orchard visiting and are using apples from the garden. I have had to remind myself how to resize pictures and put them on the website! The picture above came from our holiday in Devon. We went over the border into Cornwall and visited Cotehele, the orchard was interesting to visit and I took this photo (among others) of Beauty of Bath as I don't have a good photo of this variety on the website. This variety is not planted very much now as there are perhaps better early apples but picked straight off the tree at the start of apple season it is good and remembered by so many people from their childhood.
We were really sorry to hear about the vandalism at Yarmouth Community Orchard, the trees were doing well, Dave walked through and pruned them last winter although we found then that some had had the tops broken out. Last week somebody took the tops out of all the trees - how senseless and stupid. The trees were all planted by local community groups, like the Scouts above, or in memory of local people, like Henry Cooper, planted by his Grandaughter Lois Cooper, below. However the trees are still alive and growing except for one which is being replaced
My next query - who knows about mistletoe? Our plant which we were sure was male (no berries) sems to be spreading across the garden and we now have mistletoe on two other trees, Tydesman's Late and Crawley Beauty apart from The Bramley's Seeding where it started. Is this a male flower? a female flower? (Photo taken 23rd March) All I can say is it does not develop into white berries at Christmas and if there are no berries how does it spread?
The new mistletoe plant growing on Tydeman's Late Orange. Picture also taken on 23rd March.
It was Brighstone Horticultural Society Autumn Show last Saturday, Dave and I spent the afternoon in a tent outside the Wilberforce Hall in Brighstone with a display of 30+ apples, the original painted apple records, information about the new apple, Little Pax and information about this website. We had also asked people to bring apple recipes and samples to share.
There were a few offers and special Thanks to the Brownies who came with a large tray of 'Brownie apple Buns'. Thanks also to the friend who tried her recipe twice, one with blackberries and one without and still had a 'soggy bottom', however this was the winner on flavour on the day and soggy bottoms are an occupational hazard when cooking with apples. I brought Apple Chutney and Crab Apple jelly (using John Downie Crabs) - the recipes were already on the website as I make them every year. The other 'Show Day' recipes are now under Taste, Flavour and Recipes on the menu at the side. Scroll down until you come to them. If I keep gathering recipes they may become a separate menu item in the future. Some people promised to email me their best apple recipe so watch this space.
I forgot to take my camera so hoping someone out there took some photos and could send to me? (The above picture was improvised at home the next day when I realised I had no photos but it is the chutney and the Crab apple jelly that went to the show.) If not there is always the Local County Press as they were there with their camera. The Horticultural show in the hall was good but there were no entries at all in the apple classes which just confirms what a bad apple year it has been in 2014. The apples in our display were not as good as usual and after visiting some of the usual sources for samples we all agreed it had been a very bad year and that what apples we had were not going to keep for very long. Only 30 different varieties in the display this year and that included two crab apples and a few cider apples.
Next weekend is Shalfleet Apple Day on Saturday 18th October - the nearest they could make it to National Apple Day on October 21st.