It’s that time of year again

I know it’s a recurring theme, but this is what my kitchen looks like at the moment:

An apple or two

An apple or two

I am very lucky to have some generous friends at High Bank near Ludlow who share their apple harvest with me every year. In return I always give them some of my surplus vegetable plants and, this year, I’m supplying them with willow cuttings too.

This wonderful harvest does require me to go and visit – a drive of a couple of hours. So, today I packed the car with receptacles for apples, willow cuttings and dogs and set off for a lovely day out. I forgot to take a photograph at the beginning of the day before our departure, but I did mange to remember to take a few pictures later. I set off at 8am and drove through beautiful sunshine here on the coast and over the mountains, then thick fog and finally more sunshine before arriving in Herefordshire. Once there, I enjoyed coffee, homemade soup, an interesting discussion about home-schooling (something I really support) and lots of apple-picking.

All the apples come from a single. beautiful tree that has been carefully pruned and nurtured over the past few years to create this wonderful specimen (‘old faithful’):

And this is what the car looked like when we were just about to set off for home:

I certainly know how every spare minute is going to be spent over the next couple of weeks… I’m just concerned that I might need to invest in a new peeler!

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24 Comments

  1. A lovely day with the happiest snail I know x …now get peeling

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  2. 🙂 So much nicer in liquid form I find

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  3. Ooooh, lotsa work in them there baskets! 🙂 Good friends and I hope the wine is also good!

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  4. Vino? With all those apples there. You should be on the cider now along with all the apple pies you’ll be making.
    Have Fun.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  5. Oh, envious! Do you know, you can’t get Bramleys here? The only ‘cooking’ apple available is Granny Smith. And despite my good fortune with the more exotic fruit, I’d still love to have a nice batch of apple sauce, juice and chunks in the freezer. Oh, and I’d make appelstroop too, by boiling juice down until it was black and tarry and delicious, a traditional Dutch treat.

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  6. Ooooh that Is awesome! What’re you planning to do with all the apples? Or are you too focused on peeling to have thought about the next stage?!

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  7. Do you peel/chop them by hand? I found that this kind of device made my apple-processing way faster- http://www.lakeland.co.uk/13181/Apple-Master (mine was from a charity shop for a fraction of that price though!). No apples here yet, I’m still drowning in raspberries.

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  8. You should be glad that I don’t share what MY kitchen looks like at any given time as it is usually draped with dogs (and their ensuing hair), a husband who has brought some dirty, greasy looking thing-a-magig that needs spannering or hammering or just rubbing all over the furniture in for some fandangling and there are glasses, plates etc. (strangely enough, from the SAME husband…sigh…) left all over the place for the magic glass, mug and cutlery fairy to whisk out of sight. The only reason that there are no dirty clothes laying on the floor is that Earl is partial to dirty clothes and has probably dragged them into the lounge room for a supper time repast…life in spring on Serendipity Farm is like Garfield the cat with his ears back…SO cute but don’t touch… don’t EVER touch! 😉

    Your share of Old Faithful’s harvest is magnificent. Gorgeous appley futures. Can’t wait to sniff out the apple blog posts of the future. I was just gifted a gorgeous Ballerina apple tree for inside Sanctuary by a good friend that we gave most of our much loved potted rare conifers to. Much more practical for Serendipity Farm and although it was sad to wave goodbye to a collection that has taken us years to amass (and no small fortune) we know our limits out here and have finally decided to let them go where they can actually be planted out and have a future. Now…on to those apples!

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    • I really hope your Ballerina flourishes in Sanctuary. Am I right in thinking that Tasmania is a great place to grow apples?
      The picture of the kitchen was carefully composed to omit the dogs, hair, mugs, plates, axe, mud and general chaos!

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      • Tasmania is well known as “The Apple Isle” and we are surrounded by orchards and vineyards out here (as well as a dairy and an Atlantic salmon farm) so here’s hoping that I can keep the little Ballerina safe from the possums by planting it inside Sanctuary

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  9. Such bounty! I was just driving by local orchards yesterday, marveling at how much fruit was on the trees–it must’ve been a great year for the growers!

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    • It does seem to have been the most fantastic year for all sorts of fruit. We picked loads of blackberries the other day and so the freezer is bulging… hence the need to bottle the apples rather than freeze them (not to mention the fact that I still have some from last year in there which I really should use up).

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  10. What a big splendid tree, I wonder how old it is.

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  11. Apples are currently the bane of my existence right now. And elderberries. I don’t know what it is about this year, but all 4 trees (2 of each) have gone fruit-bearing mad.

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