According to the weather forecast, we are due icy blasts, strong winds and frosts next week. So today, I thought I’d better harvest the last apple tree.
It is a crisp green one called Fiesta and the harvest period is early October. They are just starting to drop from the tree, so, at last, they are ripe. I thought at one time that they would never get there! They aren’t as red flushed as they might be as our neighbours shade the area of garden where they are. Nevertheless, they are delicious.
Our little tree has been generously abundant this year and on weighing the fruit I picked, it has come in at 22 kilos! Wonderful. I am out to dinner this evening and will be taking some for them, my daughter is going too, so I shall take some for her as well.
A fruit tree costs about £20 to buy. Value apples in Asda today are £1.60 a kilo. So even at that non premium price, the crop I picked just this year alone would have cost £35. If you have the space for a small tree, it really is worth having a go. Minarette trees only need a two foot gap in reasonable soil and daylight.
Then it’s apple compote and yogurt for breakfast, butter fried apples and pancakes, apple and carrot cakes, apple scones, an apple will go in all future soups, apple pies and crumbles etc etc. I haven’t quite finished the last lot of apples I picked yet, so I’ll have to make sure I do that soon. Pomona, the tree supplier, say that Fiesta’s are similar to a Cox and will keep until January. The only problem is where, and how. I have a little shed, but we are currently getting rid of a couple of rats that are living in and under it. If I carefully wrap and store the apples in there, it will be like hanging out the welcome flags! How do other people keep the rats out of the shed? They are eating fertiliser pellets and anything else even remotely considered to be edible.
A couple of years ago, I had to move the bird fat balls, seeds and peanuts into the house, for the same reason, and they currently live in the hallway.
I am making progress with making space in the freezer, so I could peel and chop some apples up and keep a few bags in there. I won’t do it just yet tho, I’ll wait until they look like they need to be used. The central heating isn’t on yet, but when it is, there is underfloor heating in the new bit of the kitchen, so it will be hard to find a cool place in there. Although the old part hasn’t got it, so maybe I could wrap and store some in wicker baskets, so they can breath, in my capacious larder cupboard. Yes, I think that’s what I will do. And all my use an apple strategies should use up lots quite quickly.
I am trying not to make sweet recipes as I find them so irresistible, and I really shouldn’t have the calories. Monday and Thursday are 5:2 days, and this week coming, I think I’ll have a salad of lots of spinach leaves, a sliced apple, a few walnuts and a tiny bit of feta. I have 2 fish cakes stashed in the freezer from last week, so those will be the other two meals on those days.
I have started another Pinterest board for apple recipes. I’m finding this useful, to have a board with lots of ideas for whatever it is I have lots of in the garden at that point. And I’ll be adding to them as I go along too, as and when I come across something that I want to cook.
Right, I must away and dry my hair. We went on a little walk today, just 2.5 miles, but we got a bit muddy, dusty and sweaty. It was lovely, along footpaths, gawping at all the lovely big houses, through some woods that I hadn’t been in before and back along the Cuckoo Trail. I’ve showered and put my face on, so I’m nearly ready to go off out.