Tuesday, 6 December 2011

season almost over

Wow!! that was a year....

2 more Farmer's markets, one Winchester and one Fareham. The Kidd's Orange Reds are still sound and taste beautifully sweet, almost floral, but are harder to sell as they're not CRUNCHY. A lot of them are going to end up in Jez's cider. The Egremeonts likewise have passed their best, the WInter Kings are still great, not as tasty as the Kidd's but they are CRUNCHY.

The Sturmer Pippins are just coming ripe, they will I think last into March now but we don't have enough of them to justify markets, leat alone the miserable cold markets of early January when nobody has any money after our overdone midwinter holiday spendfest, so will likewise go into cider.

I ordered some winter Nellis pear trees which are due any day, they will go into gaps where plums died of bacterial plum canker. A hateful disease against which there is no legal remedy we know of, it seems to thrive in our microclimate. Pity, the plums do well. They take 5 years growing, pay for themselves in the first year of serious cropping, crop well for 3-7 years, then die. But they do so well, we are planting half a dozen every couple of years in rotation around the holding. With plums, we can get into the market a month earlier than our first apples.

Pears did famously too this year, proving the correctness of removing unprofitable Braml;ey's and surplus Sunsets 3 years ago. Our customers oculdn;t get enough of them, although we did lose some sales as fruit went off when we went to the Cropredy misuc festival.

More later as we look back on the year.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Apple Day and Folk Music event

on 29th October 2011 at the usual place, Durley Memorial Hall, Durley Street in (er..) Durley we will be having our usual Apple Day fruit exhibition and sale PLUS a folk music event. more details later but essentially

real ale and cider bar (at least 2 real ales including Gringo's Gold from the local Botley brewery. Cider from 146 cider (made from our apples, won a prize at Southampton beer and cider festival)

apple exhibition and sales (Sorry no attempted fruit identification, I will be very busy on the day it takes me too long to ID apples for free and I'm not good enough at it to charge a fee! attempted self ID from our books and the exhibition is available)

afternoon singaround led by trad folk superstar Rob Mills

music session led by fiddle legend Cath Watkins

lunchtime ploughmans with decent ham or Lyburn real cheese from Winchester

hog roast from about 5 pm

vegetarian alternative (potato curry and lentil and chick pea curries, possibly onion bhajiis)

EVENING CONCERT 7.30 for 8 kick off

Green Man Morris perform an autumn mummers play
George Wilson
Woodlands Village Band

admission free until evening concert, £7.00 then

ALL PROFITS (after hall rent, cost of beer + food etc) TO TOOLS FOR SELF RELIANCE a marvellous charity which refurbishes old tools and sends them to villages in Africa to help people work themselves out of poverty

look forward to seeing old friends and new.

Stephen and Julia Hayes and friends

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Fruitwise Market dates 2011

Fruitwise Heritage Apples Sales 2011

These are the sales listed in calendar sequence, time mentioned after each first mention of venue. Directions are easily checked out on line so I won’t clutter this notice with details most of you won’t need.

Sun 31st July Winchester Farmer’s market 9-2 (PLUMS)

Sat 6th August Fareham Farmer’s Market 9-2 (PLUMS & early apples)

Sun 28th August Winchester FM

Sat 3rd September Fareham FM

Sun 11th September Winchester FM

Sat 17th Botley Apple Day + orchard art exhibition, 1.0-4.30 Market Hall, Botley high street

Sun 25th September Winchester FM

Sat 1st October Fareham FM

Sat 1st and Sunday 2nd October harvest festival autumn market, Winchester Cathedral 9-2

Sat 8th October Pumpkin and autumn fair, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley 12.00-5.30 for details see www.jst.hampshire.org.uk admission charge adults £2.00, children 50p plus parking. Band and lots of fun, for Jubilee Sailing Trust charity.

Sunday 9th October Winchester

Saturday 22nd October Damerham Apple Day, village hall, Damerham (western New Forest) 12-4

Saturday 29th October Durley Memorial Hall, Durley. Apple Day and folk concert midday to 11pm. all profits to go to Tools for Self reliance. great local bands, arts and crafts, hog roast, local real ales and cider. Exhibition of apples. £8 for music concert.

Sunday 23rd October Bishop’s Waltham FM 10-2

Sunday 30th October Winchester FM

Saturday 5th November Fareham FM

Sunday 6th November Romsey FM 10-2

Sunday 13th November Winchester FM

Sunday 27th November Winchester FM

Saturday 3rd December Fareham FM

Sunday 11th December Winchester FM

Saturday 17th December Fareham FM

Hope to see old friends and new. if you have any special requests or questions email on steveappleseed@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Apple tree grafting after care

much needed rain and graft after care

The weather has been lovely lately-beautiful rain! It would have been perfect if we could have had half of it a month ago, but our water butts are full (for the vegetables) and ht eearth and trees refreshed.

I must take some still photos to upload here, for the last few years I have concentrated on the YouTube channel whcih has developed quite an international following with 1,600 subscribers and 1,890,000 views so far.

The latest video I posted yesterday is also the longest ever at 15 minutes, and that was after editing. Several people have tried their hand at grafting after watching my videos, and I was getting a few requests about troubleshooting and after care. I'll see if I can post a link.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

heavy fruit set

Hi everyone, sorry again few posts here-I have been catastrophically busy. I have just completed 2 weeks annual leave from the daytime job, if I tell you that I didn't get fishing even once -in MAY!!! , even given that I paid up front for a season ticket on a local trout lake, plus coarse fishing club, you will know I have been busy. Boring stuff like tidying the shed, clearing out the apple store and cider house, washing bottles, making a huge new bottle rack, spraying, spraying, spraying, blending and bottling the 2010 cider (only so-so quality I'm afraid due to weather related ripeness problems) taking junk to the car boot sale and then unsold stuff to the dump. I even did some medical teaching, including a time critical course planning meeting with colleagues which with other people's inflexibilities could only be held in my holiday, a local teaching assignment (if you turn it down, you might not get asked again) and a trip to Birmingham after an anxious phone call from a national learning organisation I work with who were let down by a speaker pulling out a week before. Oh well, they paid me well and I earned some good little boy points, but all the same.........

Above all, it has been orchard work and as I type I have pins and needles in my fingers from all the FRUIT THINNING. I have YouTubed about this, plus the heavy stump removal work I also did. Due to the hot sunny weather on the blossom , there has been a ridiculously heavy fruit set on the plums, we have had to reduce by 80% to get decent fruit size and avoid broken branches. The apples are less extreme but still a lot of work. Today is Bank Holiday Mondaty, and after breakfast I will be off to the orchard to thin about 45 Lord Lambourne which have a heavy set. Due to good control of pest and disease problems (the Calypso did for the blasted ground chafer bugs that wiped out a third of our crop this time last year, although they still damaged a lot of fruit. The flock of starlings helped a lot too) the fruit are growing fast and well.

We are beginning to see and feel the benefit of removing so many fruit trees over the last 2 winters. The Lambournes I mentioned on MM106 9 feet apart are now 18 feet apart due to the removal of alternate trees. Drastic, and arm aching work with spade and axe (some helpful wags on YouTube suggested explosives or a tractor, we have access to neither and didn't want the collateral damage!), but now the trees are filling out into the space. We can get around them more easily to mow, thin, prune and spray and even in the first year after a 50% tree reduction we think the saleable crop will only be down 30% due to easier, therefore better, management and more light and air penetration. And indeed, better water foraging for the roots. The drought continues..................

will try to take some still pics to post, usually I forget as I make videos for the YouTube channel, see stephenhayesuk. Bye for now

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Blossom due, even begun!!!

Its raining gently today, thanks God, but last week's very warm sunshine after a dry, mild March led to opening of the peach blossom (Julia planted 2 peaches by the apple store) and over the weekend the damson blossom is almost open. There is due to be a catastrophically beautifal show of bl;opssom on hte new pear orchard, where I am training to pyramids on an absolutel minimum pruning regime and there is tight fruit bud right to the tips of most of the pear trees. Its going to be the blossom show of the decade. Will post images later. Once again, the daytime job has got out of hand since November and I have been posting videos on YouTube so tended to neglect this blog, but will try to post some kind of orchard diary this growing season. Kind regards. PS an old friend came unexpectedly round last night asking for an apple tree. I told him thet Blackmoors had just sent out an email saying today was theuir last date for bare rooted orders as the season had moved on. Decided to let him have 2 young trees at his risk but will need watering like mad. It is now really too late to plant for this year. STOP PRESS Apple day and folk music even planned for Durley Memorial hall Saturday 29th October, tickets will be £7 in advance, £8 on the door and all profits for the noble recycling and development charity Tools for Self Reliance. Much more on this later but keep the date free.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Almost spring!!!

Hi everyone, its nearly springtime! I have been very busy with the job that earns the money (doctoring and teaching about skin cancer diagnosis) and have also got so mixed up with ever changing complexifications of passwords and accounts that I hardly ever come here, but will try to make a few posts this year. Most of the action has been on my YouTube channel where I am currently looking at grafting. see you all later