Julia trying to identify an apple using one of our books.
Right now I am trying to stress down after much too busy a day in too busy a month in too busy a year, and prepare myself mentally for our Apple Day tomorow. Julia's Mum has come doewn from Essex for a few days and is helping Julia make some apple cakes. I think I am going to ignore the fact that my diet has gone to pot after some considerable success this year and go pour a pint of new season's cider.
Hope to see some of you at Durley Memorial Hall tomorrow between 10.30 (note later start, we cannot get the hall ready by 10.00) and 15.00. We are allowed to sell cider there is a licence and I have got some cloudy but fresh and good new season cider, a full 3 weeks before the Beaujolais Nouveau and probably better tasting. I will be there with my books and will attempt to identifty apples. I don't charge for this as I am so bad at it! Well, we only grow 60 or so apple varieties, there are another 2,000 or so known in England, and despite the advice of myself and others who know something, people will continue to grow apples from pips.
Sowing pips from selected apples to try to raise new disease resistant or otherwise worthy new varieties as aprt of a research programme is a very good thing, but sowing a pip in your garden or a pot to try to raise an apple from seed is a TERRIBLE idea. It will almost never give you a new apple worth having, and by the time you realise you have raised a sour, boring, green apple which doesn't crop well and grows too small or too big to be practical, you will have invested 5 years or so of hope and care and just won't want to believe the harsh truth that your new apple variety is worthless. And then you move house, and someone finds the apple in your garden and tries to get it identified and of course nobody can put a name to it as its a nameless new variety. Don't do it, it's MUCH better to spend a few pounds at a nursery and help keep a tried and tested worthy old variety going.
Happy Apple Day (it's actually 21st October but mostly people celebrate it on any Saturday from mid September to mid November). And ours is tomorrow. Well, it is if you read this in the next few hours, otherwise it'll be the day before yesterday or whatever. Another event this weekend is at Burley (not to be confused with Durley) where there is a cider event at New Forest Cider, you can find them easily enough on Google. I might possibly be there on Sunday afternoon, my mate Jez and a few others from the cider workshop will be there tomorrow.