In a previous post I mentioned having found a few really good spots for foraging, this year that seems doubly true for apples. Every tree I have found is absolutely festooned with fruit, and since some of it is starting to fall I went out yesterday to collect the apples from those trees. I’ve left all the windblown fruit this year, most of it on the early season trees is already mostly rotten, but I’m hoping next year I can keep a closer eye on them so less goes to waste.
Location, Location, Location
My buddy Josh and I (and our other halves) just took over a vacant allotment plot in August that we’ve been clearing bit by bit when we have time, it’s exhausting work but daydreaming about what this space could be next year keeps us keen. Part of that was my grand plan to train several apple trees in espalier style along the allotment border as a fence, they look beautiful, they’re easier to harvest, and they cast a short shadow over our neighbour’s plot. BUT I’m beginning to think it might be a bit of an extravagance when there are so many wild tress growing!
I’ve found 2 really good spots in the area, the first is all along Lamesley road, just off the A1 - there’s almost a dozen really good trees down here with a mix of sweet and sharp fruit that are easily accessible by car. The second spot is in Washington and that’s all I’m saying for now, my mum uses the same spot for all of her apples so I don’t want to spoil it for her. It’s a veritable wild orchard down there - ten to twenty apple trees, half a dozen crab apple trees, and really good mix of flavours. The majority of them aren’t ripe over there yet so I’ll give it another 2-3 weeks before I harvest but I think there should be plenty for our first batch of cider. I’ll blend all the juice, and then I’m hoping to have enough for 60 litres so I can split it into three 20 litre batches to test using champagne yeast, cider yeast, and one with wild yeast.
More on that later in the season, but for now happy foraging y’all!