Sunday 26 August 2018

First Harvest in the Orchard

Yesterday we took our first harvest from the orchard. We picked a basket full of Cobra apples. These apples have a wonderful sweet flavour and the fruit is nice and crisp. The young tree was laden with fruit this year. We've left a similar amount of fruit on the tree for later picking.

The quince tree is looking good with quite a few fruit on its branches, though they are rock hard at present. At present they are nowhere near maturity. We also have a good crop of Conference pears which should be ready in a couple of weeks. There's a good crop on the Egremont Russet apple tree, but they won't be ready until 6 weeks has passed.

It was a nice reward for all the hard work over the past four or five years. Last winter we applied some general purpose fertiliser and also some magnesium supplement to the base of the fruit trees. This seems to have paid dividends in the vigour of the trees this year. We've also watered the tree about twice a week this summer. It's been a long dry summer. 

This suggests the soil in the field needs some additional feeding over winter to restore the many previous years of neglect by previous owners of the field.

On the river bank, the Bullace tree is laden with purple fruit so we'll be picking those towards the end of September. This will delight my gin swilling friends/family down in London.

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