Thursday, 19 December 2013

Awesome Autumnal Update

Trick or Treat
We might well be heading for a cold/wet/windy/frosty Winter, but no one complained about the sizzling summer that ripened everything, ready for the bumper Autumnal harvest this year.
Crab Apples at Mansbridge Community Orchard

Elderberries were abundant and we picked a sufficient amount to make a gallon of Port from one tree, during a Picknik at Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort.
Red Devils at St Mary's
It’s hard to get across just how many Apple trees there are on public land, loaded with free fruit. We live busy lives like everyone else, yet the children and I collected over 200 Kgs of delicious ripe apples this October and that was before we even ventured into Mansbridge Community Orchard.
Apples by the Bucket-load
Our Apple store is filled to the brim, a stock which should easily last us into next Spring. We created 11 Gallons of Cider, so that  should last longer, even after talking thirsty friends and Christmas into account. It beats me why anyone buys apples from the supermarket.
Autumn Beeches and Holly
A couple of brief but timely visits to local Walnut trees yielded more than enough to see us well past Christmas. Hazelnuts were also prolific this year, these I mostly gathered by filling my pockets during lunchtime forays around Hedge End; I didn't need to look anywhere else but I'm sure there were plenty everywhere.
A Great Year for Shuffling Through Dry Leaves
Some of our favourite pear trees have been shamefully destroyed but fortunately friendly neighbours came to the rescue and we poached some and added a load more to the cider; judging by the taste, this was a good idea.
Plenty of Nuts for Xmas
We seemed to be too busy pressing apples to collect many chestnuts this year. I visited Telegraph Hill, but spent most of my time simply soaking up the special atmosphere.
Squash Army!
My son scrambled up the Medlar tree in the University grounds and in about 10 minutes we had picked enough to make a new batch of wineI also picked enough Sloes, during my lunchtime wanderings around Hedge End, to make Sloe Gin and Sloe Wine.
Crackling Lightning
We are still eating our way through the army of squash that we grew at our allotment; it was a very good year here too and my shelter and fruit cage are still standing after all those exciting storms. 
Selling Mistletoe for the School Xmas Fayre

This Winter, if I find time, I will be building a compost heap, from up-cycled pallet wood on the site (that's how exciting my life is). 
Bye Bye Office, for a While Anyway...
Enjoy your Christmas holiday and let's hope for a brilliant New Year.

No comments:

Post a Comment