stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The apples of my eye

On our Silver Wedding day my Life Long Friend (yes, her of abseil fame) and her husband, gave us a gift of garden vouchers. We each chose an apple tree - husband chose a tradional Cox's Orange Pippin and I chose a Worcester Pearmain.

We fenced off a section of the acre field behind the house, to protect the young trees from the maurading horse and sheep. The horse in particular was adept at pruning trees - his long neck could snake out and pluck the choicest of leaves and buds. I think we thought that the area around the trees could be a vegetable patch, but it was too far up the hill for comfort. The soil was considerably more flinty and chalky in just that short distance up from the blacker alluvial soil down in the sheltered garden in front of the school. It didnt work out. So the trees were left with only raspberries for company - and the occasional rabbit wandering through.

Its hard not to be competitive, but over the years my tree has done better. And this year the Cox's only had two - whereas mine was abundance personified. I scrambled over the wire sheep fence and negotiated the rapberry canes and nettles. It felt very rural and fulfilling to gently cup a ripe apple and twist gently off.

Youngest daughter stood by helpfully. She pulled out her camera. I held an apple out to her "Come, my pretty" I said in my wicked witch voice "here's a nice juicy apple for little Snow White!" Why is it that apples are always linked to temptation?!

I picked two heavy baskets full. If I only choose perfect unblemished apples, and wrap them gently in paper and store them in the fridge they will last longer. These early varieties, apparently, don't store as well as the later one.

They are described as "A dessert apple which is rich, sweet with a pleasant well rounded full flavour. The skin is a scarlet red flush and broken stripes over green-yellow background, with russet dots. The flesh is white coloured, crisp, fairly coarse and juicy. It is ready to eat in mid September, though in many shops it is picked too early, which results in the apple being considered inferior to its true flavour. 'Worcester Pearmain' was introduced in 1874 by Messrs Smith of Worcester. Parentage: Thought to be a seedling from a Devonshire Quarrenden"

Now you know!


At 9:25 am, Blogger Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Good Morning Val.
We’ve woken to a quiet, sunny, warm morning, with just a gentle breeze blowing. What a change from yesterday’s almost gale force wind, strange thing, it was so incredibly warm.

I pottered in the garden and considered myself very lucky, that despite the number of Bramley apples being blown off the tree, I managed to miss out on one hitting me and you know how large they are.

What an excellent choice of English apples, Cox and Worcester, come to think of it, so too is a Bramley, you can’t beat them for cooking can you! Where we lived in the Cotswolds our house was named ‘Bramleys’ after the apple trees that were planted there, it just seemed so appropriate to plant one here when we moved to Wales.

Have a good weekend. Love - Marion

At 1:48 pm, Blogger Tabor said...

The picture looks lovely and my mouth is watering. I am assuming they are only for eating?

At 9:25 pm, Blogger Kerri said...

That's such a nice wicked witch, you! Mmmm, I can almost smell the apples. I love to eat them when they're crisp and juicy.
Ross planted two apple trees this past spring...Empire and Johnogold. The deer have eaten the tops, which won't help the shape of the trees, but hopefully they'll survive any further onslaughts and grow in spite of the wildlife feasting upon them.


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