Apple Picking

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The stormy weather of rain and strong winds  over the last few days has brought down lots of my apples – so today in the pouring rain I collected them up and picked others ready to fall from the tree.  I’m impressed with the harvest – it is only the apple tree’s second year and it has produced lots of rich red apples of good size.

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Someone once told me that you can tell if an apple is ripe and ready for picking, by twisting it round, and if it doesn’t come away by the third twist, leave it longer.

But I have since learned that a more sensitive and respectful approach is better, and that the ideal time to pick an apple is when it is almost ready to let go by itself and by lifting the apple gently, it releases easily and comes away in your hand.  If it resists, it’s not ready.   Move on to the next apple.  Not all apples on the same tree are ripe at exactly the same time.

The colour of the seeds is an indicater too,  once they are brown, the apple should be approaching being ripe.  I’ve kept picking one to taste,  and until now they have been a bit sour!

Despite the wet I have gone slowly and gently in my collecting, (rain running down my sleeves), fearful that pulling forcibly or twisting the apple is likely to tear off the spur, where the next year’s buds are already beginning to form.   Spurs are easily broken off –  if too many are destroyed, there may not be enough apples next year.

I’m now carefully laying them out to store – I’ve put some wood slats together across a shelf in the larder, and there they are all in rows (smelling heavenly!).  I’m thinking of  baking pies, crumble perhaps and I think there will be further ripe ones ready for toffee apples later in the month – can’t resist them, can you?

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