I had been checking regularly on the apple trees close to my work place, in Hedge End. I thought they were beginning to look ripe enough to pick. The trees are full of fruit this year; the hot summer sunshine obviously helped the apples as much as it did our summer holidays.Most of these trees are eating apples, there are many different types and colours but there are a few cookers scattered amongst them. I don’t know where they originated from but after consulting old maps, it seems that there used to be a farm on this land.
The weather looked good enough on the day, so we called around to a few friends and rounded up the children. Despite a drizzly start to the afternoon, the sun soon broke cover and warmed the air.
The adults set about the trees with telescopic pickers while the children scampered up amongst the branches like squirrels; soon the buckets and bags were filling up nicely.
There was so much abundance that it was hard to know where to start collecting at first. Soon though the arms began to ache and the buckets got heavier to drag around; our family took home about 30Kgs in the end, which was a great result.
By the time we decided to stop picking apples, the kids were already on the field, playing football. We had a quick foray into the hazel bushes and filled our bags with lots of lovely big hazelnuts before setting off for home.
On our return, I set about sorting the best apples into our store in the shed; it’s nearly full now and our stock should see us safely through the winter. The rest of the fruit will either be eaten soon (the Head Chef cooked a delicious Blackberry and Apple pie on Sunday night) or turned into juice and cider.