the secret orchard

damsons

We went back to the secret orchard at the weekend to collect more fruit for jamming and cooking.  We are on holiday for two weeks and are staying here to relax.   A bit of fruit picking and preserving is a great way to start.

Having enjoyed it’s fruits a few weeks ago, we were surprised to find so much still not past it’s best.

bramley apples

The apples are still difficult to get at as the trees are very high but the victoria plums are now so heavy on the branches that they have bowed to a pickable level; how accomodating.  There are no mirabelle plums left but there are still the common pink plums in abundance.  They are so sweet and definitely the best for eating.

sweet plums

It is incredibly overgrown making most of it impossible to get to and there are some evil brambles lurking where you least expect to find them.  We have offered to manage it for the farm in the hopes that we will get firewood from it and fruit for all of us to enjoy. So much of it is going to waste at the moment.  Even the birds can’t keep up with it.

victoria plums

We have suggested it be fenced off and a couple of pigs let lose in there to grub out the choking undergrowth and clear the ground of the fallen fruit.  Livestock is too much to worry about for a farm busy with thousands of acres of arable crops and we aren’t around often enough to take on the job but if we were, we’d be straight out there finding ourselves a couple of lincolnshire curly coated pigs.

eating apples

It’s a smashing little spot and although most of it remains inaccessible to us at the moment (where the pears and eating apples are!!), it will be a great project to clear it and help get it back to it’s near original condition.

an enormous mushroom

Even the furry one loved it finding lots of interesting smells and places to dig. His favourite was disappearing into the undergrowth to discover things that we couldn’t get to and that have probably only been visited by the local wildlife in a very, very long time.

our harvest

Until we get down to the clearing and managing of it properly, we can continue to enjoy the fruits we can reach.  Some of them have been cooked up now and I will tell about that later.

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