Wednesday 24 September 2014

Resting at the moment

I managed to pull a muscle in my back while working in the orchard a couple of weeks ago, so I've to to put plans on hold for a few weeks while my back fully recovers. Meanwhile I've been helping friends with their new website. A local Belper Driving Instructor can be found here: Pass with Paula. If your family is looking to take up driving Paula should be your first call.

Friday 5 September 2014

Bullace season

It's reached that time of year to make the Bullace gin. The bullace plums didn't show prolific growth at the orchard this year, but we have found a couple of bushes not far away in a secret location. By picking at both sites we were able to collect a few pounds of the bullace ready for making the bullace gin.

Bullace plums from the Turnditch orchard.
Bullace from the orchard

We've now cleaned the bullace and left them steeping in five bottles of Morrison's own label premium gin and sugar in the dark of our cellar. You can buy bullace gin, but it is cheaper and more fun this way.

Having picked the bullace I decided it was time to prune the bullace bushes. They grow at the side of the river. The competition for light from the elm and hawthorn had created long leggy branches about four to five metres tall. These were sagging over the footpath and blocking easy access by vehicles. It was not only inconvenient, but exposed the bushes to damage if a tractor used the route and pushed the branches aside. I've lopped them back to about two metres in height. They should bear fruit in the next year or two. 

Bullace bush by the river, pruned.
Bullace tree cut back

While I was pruning the bush a visitor who's interested in the site called by by for a chat. He had a carrier bag of apples and plums from his own fruit trees which he kindly gave to me. Nice fruit, hopefully within a couple of years I'll be able to return the gift from our own trees.