This year we have seen one of the longest and hottest Summers on record, but now, finally Autumn is upon us. We are having cooler mornings with dew on the grass, the wind is whipping up and the long awaited rain is arriving, cheering allotmenteers, gardeners and ducks alike.
We have been busy hunting down Hazlenuts, Apples and Pears, in all our familiar and favourite locations.It seems that all the lovely snow, bought to us here earlier this year via the Beast from the East, must have affected the pollinators and blossom of the trees because the fruit count is relatively low.
This massive and sustained Spring storm, followed by the long hot dry Summer may have caused the trees to change their normal patterns. Many trees also appear to have smaller than normal fruit that is ripening and dropping earlier than I would have expected.
I'm quite sure that there will be some trees that have managed to overcome the trials of the weather, but a cursory glance around our normal haunts shows a distinctly diminished harvest.
Having said this, we do know where a lot of trees are locally, over time we have located and monitored hundreds. As a result we are still managing to gather enough apples to store for the winter, press for juice and to create a good stock of cider.