We filled a big bucket with cooking apples and a few pears that I managed to reach. It’s a really huge old tree but being wet and slippery, I didn’t fancy sending my son up it wearing his rugby boots.
As we were returning through the driving rain, I remembered a couple of trees by an industrial estate in Chandlers Ford and stopped off to swiftly grab a few more big juicy apples. My son chose to stay in the car at this point. I then realised that we had, so far, only collected cooing apples and racked my brain to think of a tree with an abundance of sweet eaters that would be easy to pick and not too far out of our way.
The Flemming Park Reds! I thought, in a flash of inspiration, and quickly picked out a route that took us past the place where we had first started picking apples about three or four years ago.We were not disappointed; the trees in the swimming pool car park were absolutely loaded. I parked the car directly under the trees, got the big blue bucket out of the boot and started picking. I must have filled it in about ten minutes, which is just as well because it was still raining hard.
All In all I think it must have taken us about half an hour to fill the two big buckets with fruit. This load was pressed into juice a day later, because the Flemming Park Reds are soft and do not keep well. It was a real rush-job; I had only an hour or two of light after coming home after work.
I used the stainless steel spade method for expediency and then smashed them to pulp with my trusty cherry tree branch. I then topped up my latest batch with the two gallons of sweet pink juice to the five gallon mark. I also filled a couple of bottles with juice for the fridge and still had a gallon left to fill a demijohn. I really want to try Pasteurising apple juice, so that we can keep it longer for the children (and adults), who absolutely love it.