Monday 26 September 2011

Apple Attack

The autumnal equinox passed last week and for anyone harvesting apples this means that you are going to be busy. There was to be no exception for the Urbane Foraging family, not least because I wanted to stock up my apple store, arrange an Apple Picknik and pick and press enough apples to fill my second 5 Gallon barrel with cider.
I knew it was going to be very, very busy.

Half an Hour on the Little Common
To add to the logistical problems, the girl needed ballet classes and to be taken to a friend’s birthday party, the boy had to go to swimming lessons, Grandma was coming for lunch, I had promised to take the Head Chef out for a meal and we had all the normal weekend chores to perform.

Half an Hour on Woolston Foreshore

I did phone around to see if I could garner any support for the cider pressing but inevitably, everyone else was very busy too.

What am I Going to do With All This Fruit?

Call me crazy but when I set myself a target (even an optimistic one), I always try to attain it. So, with this in mind, my weekend actually started on Friday lunchtime; I borrowed the car and took my fruit picker to work.

Put Some In The Apple Store

During my lunch hour I gathered enough apples (from the Lost Orchard of Hedge End) to stock up my store and still had half a bucket load left over (about 10 Kgs) to supplement my cider making efforts.

Green/Yellow Apples from Hedge End

On Saturday morning, while my daughter danced, my son and I gathered a bucketload of apples from the big tree on Southampton Little Common. There is still a Huge amount of fruit left on this fabulous old tree.

Red/Yellow Knobbly Apples from Hedge End

Then, while my son swam, my daughter and I cropped another load from a lovely little tree covered in crunchy, deep-red eaters, from the foreshore near Woolston.

Red/Green Apples from Hedge End

Both of these were manic picking sessions, with only about half an hour to spare each time but together they produced about 40 Kgs – I estimated that we would need about 60 Kgs to make 5 Gallons of juice.

Green Apples from Hedge End

Saturday PM was the Apple Picknik # 3 - this will be reported separately here but I can say that we all had a great time and I took home over 10 Kgs, so I was still on target.

Red/Yellow Apples from Hedge End

During the Picknik, I also discovered the Lost Orchard of Mansbridge, which is another interesting story for the future.

Russety Apples from Hedge End

Saturday evening we went out for a well-deserved relaxing meal. By the time we walked home I realised how tired (and happy) I was from all my exertions and I slept very well.

Crunchy Red Eaters from Woolston


  1. Your apple store is beautiful - did you make it? And where does your press and smart juice tray come from - we've been looking for a good one?

    Great site. Thanks.


  2. Hi
    The Apple Store is made by a company called Harrods (not the knightsbridge store), they do still make them. I was lucky enough to be given this old one by my good friend Gary, it's a little rickety but works just fine.
    The main thing is to keep the apples not touching, my mum partially wraps them in newspaper and stores them in boxes from the greengrocer.
    The Apple Press is an antique and came from ebay but you can buy similar items new from Machine Mart or Vigo.
    the Urbane Forager