Today an event took place that I’ve been waiting for since the autumn of 2010. We’d been to an open day at our local organic farm, where I was introduced to R V Rogers nursery near York, which happened to have it’s Apple Weekend soon afterwards.
The stalls in the barn they opened for the occasion were full of apples, the like of which I’d never seen before. It is in the days before I had my blog, so there are no pictures to show you the glory of so much fruit. Needless to say, however, I tried many varieties of apple and decided upon Orleans Reinette for my first tree.
It being an unusually hard winter, the nursery did ask if I would prefer the tree to be delivered in the spring but I decided to have it before Christmas anyway. Instinct told me that I needed to put in the ground, even if not planted – I had no idea this was a method called heeling in. And it survived to be planted in the spring of 2011.
I understood that I would have fruit after four years. I actually got one massive apple in its third year. Then production took a nose dive. Until last year, when I got a total of eleven apples.
This year, we have been eating windfalls since the middle of August (so probably somewhere in the region of 20 have been consumed already). But today I felt was the right time to pick the remainder off the tree – I even managed to get my daughter outside to take part.
There were 26 apples left on the tree, which for me is quite overwhelming. Insects had had a go at most of them and I would like to work out if there is anything I can do about this. However, we are still going to get many an apple crumble out of them!