Monday, 3 October 2011

Best Dressed Apple Picker

Today we've been harvesting Bramley Apples from our own mature tree. It's probably true to say that they're not fully ripe yet, but I wanted to get them into store before the winds whip up later in the week and blow them all off. Under-ripe Bramleys will come good in storage, bruised or damaged fruit simply won't store for any great length of time, and we want to still be cooking with these Bramleys well into the new year.

Over the last few years I've pruned out quite a bit of wood from the interior of this tree, and also taken out one or two of the tallest branches. As a result, the fruit is much less 'scabby' than it was previously, and we can also reach almost all the fruit with the aid of a fruit picker.

The fruit picker we used today has been on loan from sister-in-law Susan, one half of the Aylestone Picking & Panking Team, for a few years now. I believe she may want it back now, which meant it was high time we did a bit of repaired work!

It's a top-of-the-range Wolf picker, but even the Rolls Royce of orchard tools wear out eventually, and so it was with the collecting bag which hangs at the business end of the tool. As you can see, Karen pulled out all the stops, knitting (I think that's the correct term) this delightful, and very 'now' floral print bag as replacement for the rather functional original. I think Susan will be pleased with the result, and I hope she gets many hours of picking pleasure from it herself.

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