When we first started building the shop I planted an orchard. The plan was that when we eventually moved here to live I would have apples straight away. On the farm I had an apple orchard and my favourite tree was the Jonagold. I'm sure that you have probably all read about my yearly apple pie making ritual, well these were the apples I would always use. They are a cross between a Jonathon and a Golden Delicious.....makes sense hey. I only added a Jonagold apple to my orchard here last year, so it will be a little while until we get fruit from it. I don't need to worry about a shortage of apples though as all of the other trees are fruiting well this year and I will make my pies from some different varieties instead.
The Gravenstein has already finished. They are the first to ripen and are a lovely eating apple but are not good keepers. We also had a very old Gravenstein tree on the farm, so I planted this one for sentimental purposes.
The Golden Delicious and the Jonathon are loaded with fruit and I love to pick and eat them straight off the tree.
Another sentimental planting was the Snow Apple. Cute little apples with the whitest flesh. My Grandad had these in his orchard and I remember them when I was growing up.
On the opposite side in the size scale is this Twenty Ounce apple. The apples are huge with this one weighing 320g and it wasn't the biggest on the tree. The branches are hanging down very low with the weight of these big apples.
Another more recent addition was my Huonville Crab Apple. I love crab apple jelly and this apple intrigued me. It has purple/green leaves and pink blossoms, so I decided to plant it in my garden as a feature rather than hide it away in the orchard. It is currently in fruit and looks beautiful. The small, palm sized fruit are not only red on the outside but also on the inside. It is believed to be a hybrid between a crab apple and a cultivated apple. Apparently it is great to eat, great cooked, juiced and can make a very acceptable cider......which is probably why Russell keeps looking at it!
We plan to plant more of these this coming year in our Cider Orchard......which is where we head to next on this apple tour. Next up are Russell's Cider Apples.....grown specifically for making cider out of as they are no good for eating......although we have also planted some dual purpose eating and cider ones.
First up.........Somerset Redstreak and Michelin. This year we only got about 3 apples from the Somerset Redstreak trees, but the Michelin are loaded. They are the golden yellow ones that you can see from the road.
Next are the Kingston Black and Improved Foxwhelp. True cider apples.....The Kingston Black is a beautiful dark red to almost black skinned apple and the Improved Foxwhelp is a lovely pinkish/red apple.
On to another 2 cider apples.....Yarlington Mill and Breakwells Seedling. Neither have produced many apples this year but the trees are growing well so we are looking forward to maybe a good harvest next year.
The Cox's Orange Pippin is a duel purpose apple, and we have lots planted (and fruiting) in the Cider orchard. I also have one tree in my orchard and I love these apples.....I actually prefer them over the Jonathons at the moment. The Bulmers Norman is purely a cider apple and all of them are picked and in the garage waiting for Russell to make them into cider.
I will make sure that I take some photos next time Russell does his next batch of cider. He has made 4 batches so far which is about 240 stubbies........and there are still apples everywhere. Last year he made enough to last a whole year.......think this year he will have more than enough!!!!