Our 1,000 trees made up of 50 heritage varieties are finally awake after the long winter and this year, so far, they are filled with fruit buds.
Right now, in the second week in October, we are watching the weather very, very carefully, crossing our fingers that the trees will blossom after this Sunday when the rains finish. And that blossom time will hopefully be sunny, 14+, with no wind or rain in order for the bees to get out of their hives and pollinate healthy flowers.
After pollination we will be hoping for a great fruit set. For no damaging frosts. For no disease. For no black spot or powdery mildew. For no fruit damaging hail. And no humidity.
And then, if everything goes our way and we have an orchard-full of delicious apples, we have to hope with everything we have that the birds leave us alone.
We are as nervous as anything. But dreams of gorgeous market tables groaning under the weight of baskets of so many apple varieties makes it worth it and keep us going.
Dorset Glodens, Isaac Newtons, Esopus Spitzenburgs, Vista Bellas, Annas, Wandin Glorys, Jersey Macs, Golden Harveys, Primas, Galas, Coxs Orange Pippins, Sturmer Pippins, Peasgood Nonsuchs, Mutzus, Bonzas, Golden Delicious, Gravensteins, Ribston Pippins, Kid's Orange Reds, Somerset Redstreaks, King Davids, Akanes, McnTosh, Catsheads, Stewart's Seedlings, Idareds, Stoke Reds, Frequin Rouges, Kingston Blacks, Brown Snouts, Bulmar's Norman, Stoke Red, Eggleton Styre, Improved Foxhelp, Reine Des Natives, Dabinett.....and that's just one of our four orchards...
And then, if Mother Nature is kind and everything goes to plan, we'll see you at a farmers' market with baskets filled with apples of every variety in six months time. Finally we'll have the confidence to call ourselves apple farmers again. We will eat oh so many apples, and apple pies and apple cakes. And we'll make apple cider. Yes we will. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.
Fingers tightly crossed eh.
Do you have a favourite apple?
Has the season been kind to you?
Are you a weather watcher?
Do you remember the name of the movie where the people made a fire to protect the orchard from frost and waved it around with some kind of wings??
Happy, calm, wonderful week to you.