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.
Springtime in a cider apple Orchard in Somerset
3 weeks ago