Thursday 13 October 2016

The Mystery of the Missing Quince

This afternoon I was able to visit the orchard to complete a section of stock fencing work at the neglected end of the site. Prior to our arrival I don't think that section of the orchard has received any maintenance work in the past forty years. There's almost nothing left of the original boundary fence at the railway end of the site. The area was heavily overgrown and also overshadowed by unmaintained trees. Earlier in the year sheep from the adjoining field were using this area as a route into the orchard. The neighbouring farmer should fixed the fence to stop his sheep straying but nothing happened. 

I had to remove a couple of heavily leaning trees to clear the boundary edge, but after that work I was able to install the final section of stock fence this afternoon. Hopefully this will keep unwanted two legged and quadruped from invading from that end of the orchard.

I was feeling quite calm and relaxed after the success and was checking the fruit trees around the orchard. We have a young quince tree (Serbian Gold) which is smothered in beautiful pink blossom in the spring. To give the tree a chance to grow I remove most of the fruitlets, and additionally the tree drops some of its own accord in the late summer. We'd been left with two good sized quince fruit on the tree. You don't normally pick quince fruit, in the UK, until early November, so we were going to leave the fruit on the tree for two more weeks. When grown in the UK they are hard and bitter until cooked. These Serbian Gold quince fruit look quite like a pear once the "fur" has fallen off.

One of the two remaining quince fruit has disappeared from the tree in the last 48 hours. If someone picked it thinking it was a pear they are going to be bitterly disappointed when they attempt to bite into it. I hope it didn't go to waste.

Perhaps the time has come to re-install the field gate at the entrance to the orchard to dissuade people from wandering in to the fruit trees.

Edit: 2/11/2016 The missing fruit was located.

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