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.


  1. Stephen,
    Hope you have great success in the last 2 markets.

  2. Am I pleased to have found your site,as I am trying to preserve a cooking apple variety called Queen,Have ordered root stock for March 2012,hoping to graft ASAP.Our tree must be 50 Years old in the garden and never fails to deliver plenty of fruit.Regards

  3. Dear Stephen
    Like you I am an apple enthusiast. Unlike you I know next to nothing about growing them so was very grateful to find your site on YouTube. Is it possible to visit your orchard?

    Clare Holt

  4. Welcome to my blog


  5. I've been watching your Youtube posts obsessively this past week trying to soak up knowledge I'm really interested in propagating my own apples, in particular rare and local (to me in Lincoln) varieties. I was wondering if you knew of a UK supplier of scion wood for the following varieties; Margil, Laxton's Epicure, Pitmaston Pineapple, Peasgood's Nonesuch and Herring's Pippin? Apologies if this post is out of place I couldn't find any other way of contacting you.

    Matt Watts

    1. Mark sorry I neglected to respond.

      I have all but the last of those and I do send out scion wood in February. Contact me via YouTube personal message sorry I daren't tempt the spammers by posting home email here.

  6. Hi Steve
    Nice blog, it would be interesting to chat - I'm negotiating with the city council and attempting to create a community orchard in Mansbridge, Southampton.
    The trees are already there but they are badly neglected.
    http://theurbaneforager.blogspot.com/ is my blog
    http://urbaneforager.btck.co.uk/ is the community website.
    Keep up the good work.
    Alan aka the Urbane Forager

  7. Just discovered your videos and websites - most helpful!

  8. Fantastic. I am in the US of A and have hunted all over for good pruning/growing tips. So far your info has been the best and most enjoyable. PLEASE keep it going.


Welcome to the Fruitwise Heritage Apples blog. Feel free to leave a comment, I will try to respond where appropriate but FAQs may have been already addressed in my YouTube videos or the http://www.fruitwise.net site. Remember, I am not a professional fruit grower, only an enthusiastic experienced amateur. Any and all advice is offered freely and with sincere good faith, but remember I might be mistaken, and my preferences,
soil and climate may be different from yours which would diminish the relevance of my advice, so check other sources before acting. In any event, I am not responsible for any outcomes!

Kind regards to all.