Every year that passes here at the farmhouse sees a few new apple trees to our garden. This year is no exception and I shall eagerly await delivery sometime in November. I have decided to plant these trees at the front of the house instead of in the croft and I have a major overhaul planned for out the back due to lack of time and 3 wayward pigs who doing their job are trashing the place ( I just wish they would eat the nettles, docks & thistles), so stay tuned for that one....
Its the first year I have ordered from Blackmoor Nurseries and a fine deal it was too. Plus if you follow them on twitter you get an extra 10% discount off your order.... I was lured by the multi deal obviously but also the interesting varieties I hadn't heard of before.
Now as a kentish girl growing up in a county who had various 'pick your own apple farms', spending warm autumn days stuffing our faces with many different varieties while picking a few to actually buy I have had the pleasure of tasting many a different apples but out of the 4 trees I have bought only 1 variety - Jonagold has passed my lips.
Of all the fruit trees grown over the centuries the apple is the most popular. Often the centre of a kitchen garden the trees would produce fruit in autumn, picked, processed and stored to keep you going over the winter months. Sadly as with many of our fruits and vegetables demand has led to trekking fruit all over the globe so that we can have anything 365 days a year. Maybe this is why apples don't taste of anything anymore.
So the interesting varieties I have gone for this year are ( I have linked into the orange pippin website which is an amazing online resource for fruit info)
- American Mother - an old Massachusetts variety with a soft sweet juicy flavour
- Orleans Reinette - an 18th century french dessert apple known for its amazing fruit quality but doesn't yield a good crop or store particularly well....oh well best eaten straight from the tree then.
- Egremont Russet - The classic english russet, crisp dry nutty flavour and Blackmoor suggests feeding with calcium in spring & through the growing season as the fruits can be prone to a bitter pit....another use for those eggshells then.
last but by no means least
- Jonagold - A cross between the Jonathon & Golden delicious variety these apples are tasty, juicy and rather large and they store really well...yum
Planning already for 2014 I am hoping to plant a mini orchard in the croft so that in years to come we will have plenty of fruit to keep us going. Orange Pippins sister site here in the UK has a great selection of different trees so I shall be pondering on which ones to plant and obviously a few that give a good yield for cider.