We pick a lot of Apples every Autumn, this year I weighed them all and we have already gathered well over 200 Kgs. A lot of these are varieties that are either not especially good for eating or perhaps not good for keeping, but I always keep a special memo in my mind of my favourite trees. These beauties are the best tasting apples that also keep well in our Apple store and we will still be using them well into next year.The newest gem I have discovered was rescued from a small hedgerow tree in Segensworth. They have a lovely pastel colour, a slightly waxy skin burst with tangy flavour when you eat them. They are very juicy, with a fresh aromatic taste. The flesh of these tasty Apples also has a pink tint. My greengrocer friend said it looks quite like a Discovery Apple. I think the tree is quite a discovery...
The Hedge End Red and Yellow is an iconic red and yellow fruit with some interesting shapes and frequently knobbly exterior. Despite the bumpy appearance, upon biting into these fruits one immediately realises that you are in the presence of something special. A soft and delicate skin and a beautifully textured, crisp, sweet, crunchy flesh. The perfect combination of sharp and sweet; truly scrumptious.
Another Hedge End fruit is the imaginatively named (by me) Red and Green. A firm, crunchy Apple with a distinctive red and green stripy skin. These mature slightly later than some and they keep very well through the Winter. Unfortunately the tree has grown very tall, and it is hard to reach the fruit, even with our pickers. The birds seem to enjoy pecking them too and this is no surprise when you bite into their firm flavoursome flesh. They are so treasured that I will even keep the ones with small pecks and cut the nibbles out prior to eating.
We have also been harvesting at our allotment, we collected enough sweet corn for a quick snack, enough squash to feed an army and my son has managed to grow enough grapes to make a few bottles of wine (he probably would prefer grape juice I guess). Our own little Apple trees is finally coming through with the goods too.