Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple picking 2009

Oliver gives this year's crop his seal of approval.

It was about 3 years ago that Hayley and I took Oliver to pick some apples at my Dad's house. Today we took a somewhat bigger Oliver back for a second harvest. But it turned out to be Lucy who was the more enthusiastic apple picker.

I pointed out to my Dad that Oliver loves apples and was our house expert, so he would be tasting the apples and declaring whether they were ready to pick. Dutifully Oliver tried one and anounced: "Hmm Hmmmmm!" (going on to devour all but the core). And so the picking commenced.

Oliver sat on my shoulders and picked a few, but when not on my shoulders was less keen. Lucy on the other hand spotted the step ladders and was up them before you could say "basic rules of safety". She greatly enjoyed picking them from the tree as well as picking up windfalls from the floor and putting them into Granddad's bag.


As for me, back in the playground of my own childhood I was straight up the tree before you could say "bad example to your children" and was soon standing on dubiously thin branches, reaching for the juiciest and reddest apples. I was even brave (read as foolhardy) enough to take a photo of my family while up there.


Once I had gathered my target fruit I gingerly came back down, much in the fashion of a cat that bounds up to the top of a tree only to find that getting down is a whole heap more tricky.

We were also assisted by my sister and her little boy, who tucked into one of our home-grown apples for the first time.


We brought a couple of bags home and will eat/cook them over the coming days. It will be nice for the kids to cook something that they have picked themselves from the tree. I'm thinking apple crumble!

Sadly there seem to be no equivalent Community Harvest schemes such as that in which James in Seattle participated recently. To be honest, in these days of perfect but all-too-uniform looking fruit on the supermarket shelves, I bet most people would turn their noses up at our authentic and sometimes a bit gnarly shaped apples, which is a shame as they are rather delicious. (And big! Lucy and I shared one this morning.)

This year might be the last that we harvest the apples, as my Mum (who owns the land by the way, despite us eating all her fruit!) is selling the land on which the trees stand. So if you have any fruit you want picking next autumn, just give us a call. We have excellent fruit-picking resumes and only require a modest bag-full as payment.