As mentioned in my last post, we have a small apple tree in the garden. It’s now the fourth summer after it was planted and, much to my surprise, it has produced an excellent crop. I’m surprised because the weather was pretty miserable when it was in flower and there was hardly a pollinator to be seen, but it seems at least one must have sneaked into the garden when I wasn’t looking.
It’s a triple tree, meaning that three different types have been grafted into the same stem – James Grieve, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Katy. In its first year, we had one apple – a James Grieve. In its second year, it produced a couple of Katy apples. Last year, we had about a dozen James Grieve. This year, the whole tree produced so many baby apples that I had to thin them out! This is exciting for me because it’s the first year that the Cox has bothered to produce and I’m looking forward to the results!
Today I decided to pick the James Grieve. Over the past 2-3 weeks, we’ve had a few fallers, both Cox and James Grieve, most of them with worms inside. Everything worth saving on these has ended up either in the stew pot or in fruit crumble, along with several of the Cox that I picked early because I could see the worm holes. This morning, though, I found two perfectly good James Grieve apples on the lawn. Apparently, the tree got stressy after yesterday’s heat and decided to start throwing its apples about. So, since they bruise so easily and appeared to be ripe, I decided not to wait for a repeat performance. According to the internet, they aren’t supposed to be ready until September, but I don’t think my tree knows this. It did exactly the same last year.
Today’s pickings? Eighteen apples weighing a combined total of 6lb. Not bad for a little tree. Here it is:
The picture was taken in mid July. It’s mostly the James Grieve that you can see, though there are some Cox’s Orange Pippin behind. We have about twenty of those still left on the tree.
The Katy only has three apples. This is because it hasn’t grown very much and is the smallest part of the tree. However, all three apples are a good size.
And how do the James Grieve taste? Well, I’m happy with them just as they are, but the experts on the internet say they should be used for cooking when picked early and I think my husband would concur. It would seem that not all of us sit eating chunks of cooking apple when we are supposed to be putting them in the pot…