Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Lost Orchard Of Hedge End

When I wander around Hedge End during my lunch hours, I often locate new fruit trees.
Spring is the best time to find trees which may bear fruit later on. The blossom is beautiful and is associated deep within in our psyche with romance and rejuvenation.
I found an area in a local park that was quite literally swarming with apple trees. It must have once been an old farm orchard that has been forgotten. Last year I made quite a lot of cider out of these apples and kept loads for eating through the winter too.
Other people do use the trees that are near the carpark but my picker allows me to reach the higher fruits.
It’s great fun working out which apples are the tastiest and which will keep best during winter.
Generally, I find that the earlier fruits are softer and the later/hardest fruits keep best.
People often ask me if I know what the different varieties of apple are but I niether know nor really care. Maybe one day I will have enough free time to learn a bit more about naming the fruits but for now, I'm happy to locate, pick and use them. These are mostly eating apples.
There are a couple that look Russetty but they do not taste similar at all. Almost all of the fruits are good to eat.
These red / green stripy ones are the crunchy and sweet winners in my opinion. They also keep very well.
All of these different varieties of trees can be found in a public park within an area of about 100 meters. I'm pleased to see that other people do pick them a bit more now but there are a lot still left on the trees.

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