Next came the pears from by the school – they were very tasty and we picked about 30Kgs in a fairly short time. I borrowed my mum’s fruit picking tool for these and I highly recommend getting one of these. (I still have not given it back!) As we picked, we gave lots away to other curious children and parents.
Later I also found pears on… Peartree Green! This inspired me to search on local maps for places with fruit in the names. Fairly soon we had found apples on Orchard Lane (thanks Mark), walnut trees in Walnut Avenue and chestnut trees in Chestnut Avenue – it’s a no-brainer when you think about it.
|Very Tasty Indeed|
|A lovely apple tree ready for picking|
It’s a very simple and enjoyable process. You chop the apples up into quarters roughly, removing any bad bits but leaving the skin and cores. Next you smash them to a pulp in a bucket and finally press the juice out. All that remains to be done is to add some Camden tablets and yeast (if you wish). Naturally you can make the process far more complicated, if you are that way inclined.
|Cider Making - That 5 gallon bucket is full!|
With the help of my buddy Pete and Finbar & Jonah his children, we picked a similar amount the following weekend, which we stored up and gradually consumed during the winter. The stock lasted until March. Cider will keep until you drink it all. Apparently it can keep for well over a year, although this theory has never actually been tested.
|Children love to climb trees and pick apples - that bucket is full too!|
Apples keep very well, but you must not let them touch each other. This way if one goes off, it will not spread to the rest, like the apocryphal bad apple in the barrel. I was lucky enough to be given a wooden apple store by my friend Gary. It’s like a skeleton chest of drawers and the apples sit in there waiting to be consumed. Some varieties keep better than others, trial and error will tell. They must not be bruised or maggoty at all for storing, so sort them appropriately and use the less good fruit for juicing.
|Thanks Gary - the perfect way to store apples|
|Hazelnuts! I'm still eating these now.|