Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Apple Harvest

It has been a disappointing year for apples, well at least here in La Pasera. We have five apple trees, all of which were already here when the house was built. The two cider apple trees which were very neglected produced very little as they were reduced in size by two thirds about three years ago and they are still re-growing. The three other trees are a Russet and two others we are really not sure about. One of the trees was grafted two years ago with other Russet stock from Luis' sister.

Most of the apple trees are old, diseased and ready to be replaced or grafted. As a consequence, the harvests tend to be unpredictable and dependant on a variety of things such as the weather and infestation. Spraying is not an option for us so we make best use of what we manage to harvest. One day last week we harvested what apples we had before further damage was done by the prevailing strong winds.

This year has been exceptionally dry and together with the strong winds causing early windfall, the harvest has not been that good. Luckily we have friends locally who often offer us additional apples. In addition, Luis' sister will no doubt send some for us the next time we visit.

The apples are stored in a cool dark place and sifted through regularly to ensure that any rotting fruit does not contaminate other fruit. We will use some for eating, a few for baking in desserts and the remainder either in chutney, drying or juicing.

Elsewhere in the garden, the spell of rain and intermittent warm sunshine has brought the insect population back out in a last flurry of activity before the cooler weather sets in for winter and the cheerful Robins have returned and regularly come to say hello.

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