Tuesday, 3 November 2009

FINAL 2009 MARKET-WInchester 8th November

STOP PRESS yesterday we carried out an assessment and sorting of the fruit in store and were left with just 30 boxes of sound fruit , mainly Sunset and Egremont Russet with also some Suntan, Kidd's Orange Red and Winter King. We need 10 boxes for a Fareham and 20 for a Winchester, so today Julia telephoned to pull us out of all markets for 2009 bar the Fareham this Saturday and Winchester on Sunday. We'll lose money on this, its too bad, you have to bid for places at the markets a year in advance and fruit yields can't be predicted so far ahead.

We'll be sorry to say goodbye to our friends until next July when we are hopefully back with the plums and earliest apples, but its been a hard year for various reasons and we're thrashed so we'll be glad of a temporary rest until pruning begins. I'll say a bit more about the ups and downs of the 2009 season later, but for now, just to advise folks of our inevitable decision, we can't sell fruit we don't have.

Basically, the Kidd's Orange red and a few other varieties were diminished by fungal dsease and bitter pit largely due to weather, and the Lord Lambourne crop (about 15% of our total and our main early autumn apple)failed abysmally, so to serve October markets we had to offer our Winter King, which we normally keep until later, but its been so warm this autumn that we had to bring them forward in any event as nothing has been keeping as well as usual. Fruit quality has been very good, with high sugar levels due to the warm late summer and autumn, but here we are out of fruit, I think earlier than every before.

We are begining to reflect on the season gone by and think about future plans, which may have to include refrigeration if we want to trade up to and beyond Christmas.

Anyway, good cheer to all and lets try to enjoy the autumn, despite the miserable prospect of a General Election next year in which either David Cameron or Gordon Brown will become Prime Minister. Nothing we can do about it so lets try to think about happy things, like the autumn leaves, bonfires, friends and the new cider.

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