Friday, 27 September 2013

Red Devils at St. Mary’s

The first apples and pears of our 2013 harvest were picked in September from the mediaeval churchyard of St Mary’s in Swathling.
Naturally, we got permission from the parish guardians first; then we popped down to the delightful little church with our pickers.
The children were keen to get stuck into the job and first set about getting as many pears as they could. These were only small fruits but nicely ripe and many had already fallen to the ground so there was a risk of getting a soft one on the head!
Gary, the previous Vicar, called the apples Red Devils, because of the fruits colour. They have a dusky bloom when first picked but they polish up beautifully. Interestingly, the ruby colouring of the skin carries through to the flesh of these apples; this adds an interesting pink tint to the juice when they are pressed.
The Red Devils are lovely, sweet fruit but some had pitting and there was not a great many to pick. So, it was a fast, pre-dinner foray and we were soon home again with our fresh fruit. After eating, we were treated to the first Blackberry and apple crumble of the year.
The apples in Fleming Park leisure centre car park, are currently weighing down the tree branches, and they have a similar pinkish flesh. Maybe we will nip over there and pick a couple of buckets full to make some rosy pink cider…

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