Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Picknik Aborted Due To Fruiticide!

In my guise, as the Urbane Forager, I organise free local fruit picking group activities. I was looking forward to an event aimed at picking an abundant source of apples next to the big Asda roundabout in Chandlers Ford.
I gaffer-taped my fruit picker to my bike and cycled the few miles down to the previously arranged meeting point. On the way I checked out a walnut tree and there were a few down, so I quickly gathered them up.

Anyone For Jousting

When I arrived at the location I was puzzled because I could not see the huge apple tree, laden with fruit that I had spotted from the road the month before. I gazed about, to see if I had somehow been mistaken and found only a Crab Apple tree.

Too Small!

Then I noticed (what at first glance looked like) a lot of windfall apples on the ground… Then I saw masses, piles of apples all over the ground… Then, with a mounting sense of horror, I saw the freshly sawn STUMP!

The Naked Stump and Piles of Apples

Someone had cut down this lovely big apple tree in its moment of prime – full of glorious ripe apples. The piles of apples were now smashed and rotting on the ground; the buzzing of wasps was loud in my ears, or was that my indignation, my outrage...

What A Dreadful Waste!

The government tells us that we should eat our five a day.
They tell us to worry about national food security.
We are told we should not waste food.
I rang the Eastleigh borough council tree services department but they had no knowledge of any work being done here recently. I was shocked again, when they told me that a local woman had recently applied for a nearby apple tree to be cut down, because children had been throwing apples! This might be a reason for reprimanding/punishing children but is surely not a motive for cutting down mature fruit trees.

We Cannot Use These

I do understand that there might have been a good reason for cutting down the tree; if it had blown down in the recent wind, then we were simply unlucky with our timing but if it was cut down for other reasons, I would like to know why - and also why the apples were not harvested and put to good use first (I could have made gallons of cider out of them, for instance).
There is rarely a good reason for wasting this much food – there would have been several hundred kilograms off apples on this tree prior to its being felled.

Ruby Reds

On the positive side of things, I spotted several new trees on my journey home and checked out a lovely apple tree in Swathling, which my friend Diane had mentioned to me. It had delicious, juicy, ruby apples that had pinkish/red flesh when you bit them – Just like the apples at Fleming Park Sports Centre in Eastleigh.

Right Through!
I have got permission to pick them on Saturday afternoon, so I propose a Picknik around 2.00pm. Followers of the Urbane Forager will be notified of the location tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment