Friday, 21 September 2012

Apples of the Equinox

There are two lovely little apple trees by the junction of Dukes Rd and Thomas Lewis Way. I’ve often noticed them but every time someone picks all the apples very early in the season.
This year, after we noted the trees had been cropped, I returned to mop up the survivors. The original picker lacked either the tools or the determination to gather the hard to reach fruit.
I had to prune away some brambles in order to reach the apples but they were an interesting looking fruit and I gathered about 8 Kg. Sadly, I saw that some idiot had dumped and smashed a china basin by the tree; the effort required complete this criminal act would be about the same as disposing of it legally.
I did notice that some crab-apples were grafted onto one of the trees. I believe this old practice is intended to provide a small supply of more-tart fruit, to improve the cider making or cooking process. It is a sure sign that someone who knows their onions, once cared about the tree. I always grab a couple for good luck; I firmly believe in preserving arcane lore, especially when it comes to apple trees.
The Autumnal Equinox falls this weekend and I intend to pick a regular boot-full of apples (that’s a car boot, not a wellington), in Hedge End. The best fruit will be stored for the winter months and the less tasty crop will go toward the imminent cider making season!

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