Just starting this page... (really should finish some of the others too.. but nevermind). Here I am going to only include the fruit we are growing, giving seasonal information etc And take the opportunity to keep records of what we have planted.. as labels fade, along with our memory! and other plants we inherited when we bought the house, so have to go on heresay..
see also apple press
The king of cooking apples. The best for applesauce, as it cooks down to a mush completely.. and with a lovely zingy flavour. If I could only have one apple tree.. it would be this one. The original tree was planted as a pip in the early 1800s in Nottinghamshire, and every Bramley in existance is a graft.. or a graft of a graft of that tree.... which still stands in that garden today.. how cool is that?
harvest:: well...they say... Oct - Nov - but where we live? more like Sept.
everyone should plant a tree, and my son wanted an eating apple that he could easily reach, and so we chose this one - on a dwarf stock. The apples are early , red, thin skinned, crunchy, sweet but not sickly. Ideal. might well buy some more. People say you should not let them fruit in their first year - but we could not resist.. and it has lots for a diddy tree (just hope it survives the experience!)
harvest Aug - Sep
an attractive garden plant with red flowers on bare stems early in the year, it also provides a fruit - often referred to as a quince, although it is quite different to a real quince. The fruit are apple shaped, very hard and have lots of brown seeds in 5-6 chambers at the core. When ready to harvest, the fruit changes from pale green to yellow, sometimes with a slight pink blush. The real giveaway that they are ready is when you start finding them on the floor! As they are so hard, this will do them no harm.
They are pleasantly fragranced, but very sharp, and can be used for preserving. Given how hard they are, only the dedicated will peel and core and make jam, far better to stew and strain through a jelly bag - I have made a lovely jelly using the method given in the make it yourself section, and this year will be trying to make a wine from it.
harvest October - November
Damsons are a member of the plum family - very dark and sharper than plums, but not as unpalatable as sloes. The variety most often found in nurseries is 'merryweather'. Excellent for jellys, and liqueur.
harvest August -September
easy to grow and one of the earliest of the fruits, they get a bad press due to the sharpness, but this is often because the fruit is picked too young. Good for jam making too.
a green cooking gooseberry
a red dessert variety of gooseberry
We only have the one pear tree at the moment. When we were buying the house, the estate agent was waxing lyrical about the mature fruit trees (3 sad looking ones in dire need of pruning and de-ivying) and asked the previous owner what variety of pear it was. She picked up a manky half jackdaw eaten half rotted windfall pear and said 'bluddy useless' and threw it into the undergrowth. Estate agent looked anxious.. we thought it was funny.. and so forever the pear we have will be known by that name... it adds to the recipes that follow.. bluddy useless liqueur, bluddy useless crumble and so on !!
harvest: Aug - this varies though - notice when first windfall arrive and if the fruit is being attacked by jackdaws etc - then try a few - lift and twist gently, if they come away then they are ready, ripen indoors.
helpful advice on picking from royal horticultural society.
recipes: pear and chocolate pudding,
a summer variety of raspberry, which means it fruits on last year's wood. After the harvest, cut out the wood that has fruited, and cut out any weak shoots then tie in the new growth. When canes reach the top wire - cut off or bend and tie in.. advice varies it seems. We have planted 40 canes.
Summer varieties need support so we have whumped in 8 ft posts, and will add wire support strands later. These posts will also be part of our netting structure to keep the pesky birds from eating our crop. Raspberries don't keep for long after being picked so eat or freeze within a day or so.
Pests: birds, botrytis
rhubarb (ok not really a fruit.. )
see wild strawberries in the wild food section
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