Next autumn, when we have water, and heating, and a kitchen, I will make Cider. Nový Mlýn is host to dozens of apple trees, and I have been slow to get acquainted with them, almost too late in some cases.
My feeble excuse is that the garden was so overgrown that I couldn’t tell they were falling from the trees. Now, after a few days of hard graft the lawn (we call it jokingly) is a little more under control. I have not mastered the scythe but at least understand the principle. Our neighbour came round again today and demonstrated that it needs to be close to the ground at all times, not waved about like an oar. Now, I have uncovered a tonne of apples, and roughly sorted them into usable or compostable.
So… in the orchard we have
- 1 red apple tree – quite recently planted, the apples all went with the help of birds before I had a chance to take much notice of them.
- 2 green early summer apple trees. Juicy, firm apples (but will go floury if past it), which were all fallen from the tree by August 24th when Jana visited. They bruise easily and rot quickly on the ground.
- 2 trees with very large pale green apples, some turning red.
- 1 tree which produced a small crop of red and green stripy apples, which brown slowly but are rather bitter.
- 1 small red apple tree – very sweet little apples – but again they brown quickly. Now (first week of September) some of them are splitting open on the tree and it is hard to find one which is still firm enough to enjoy.
- 1 tree with huge green apples
- 1 pear tree – pears are currently crisp but sweet. I will wait and see with these.
Last night I started experimenting with using apples as a basic food group. I cooked West Country Stroganoff based on a recipe from the Guardian on Saturday. M said it was a bit too appley… not surprising given the quantity of apples I’d hidden in it.