Apple harvest time

It is apple harvest time here in England. We only harvested a few apples from our own fruit trees this year as it is their first season with us and they have been suffering from aphid problems and the ensuing leaf curl 😦  but we hope to tackle it to ensure a better harvest next year.

DSC04650.JPG

We are growing our apples on espalier trees to save space

But thanks to the generosity of neighbours and friends, we have been enjoying apples in all kinds of forms lately ; juiced, baked, pureed, made into pies….

dsc05115

Here is a lovely apple pie by husband baked last week.Yum! 🙂 

Last weekend, we went to an Apple Festival at a local country estate. The weather was glorious, but it was rather busy so we didn’t stay too long (as my daughters don’t feel relaxed in crowds), but we did treat ourselves to some delicious freshly pressed apple juice and had a good look around.

dsc05126

dsc05128

dsc05130

dsc05136

dsc05123

There was some Morris dancing – something so quintessentially English. I must admit I always fancied myself as a Morris dancer when I was a child ;-). It looks like such fun! Maybe one day…

dsc05119

And there was even a blacksmith in his forge ( how very Michaelmas 🙂

dsc05124

I went to the Advice Stall to ask about our aphid problem and was given some helpful advice which hopefully will make a difference. It sounds like you have to keep on top of it regularly, so that will keep me busy next year!

dsc05134
We were told that we could pick apples for free from the old apple orchard there whenever we wanted, so a friend and I made a plan to go there on Friday after school with our children and a picnic. We had a fabulous time (bar the fruit flies..). The apples were really high up, so the children climbed into the smaller trees and we used long sticks to knock them down from the larger trees! It was really good fun 🙂

dsc05210

dsc05209

And we each went home with a big sack of apples.

dsc05217
dsc05216

Including this quirky apple “pear” 

They are mainly cooking apples so we will use the large ones for baked apples filled with nuts and raisins and I also have plans to make apple sauce with lots of cinnamon.  I expect our horse Minnie will be enjoying some to. 🙂

We went back to our friends’ house after our picnic with a plan to make apple crumble. The children were very much involved in making the impromptu crumble. They all donned aprons and my friend’s little boy even wore a chef’s hat. So sweet. They thoroughly enjoyed mixing the flour, oats, sugar and butter with their hands to make the crumble topping. It worked out surprisingly well for an improvised effort and the children really enjoyed the fruits of their labour! I didn’t have my camera with me at this point which is a shame as they were a joy to behold.

My nature table and seasonal decorations also have an apple/harvest theme, to reflect what is happening in nature. I made the apples from little balls of beeswax with tiny twigs as stems.

dsc04979

dsc04981

dsc05007

A little pumpkin fairy that I needle felted some years ago, is still a favourite.

The nature table should reflect what is happening out in nature; so for example it is a busy time for animals who are gathering food for their winter stores.

dsc05014

Felt mice eating corn.  

dsc05013

 A squirrel collecting acorns amongst the toadstools .

We have started collecting conkers and acorns which are gradually making their way onto the nature table along with the pumpkins,apples and corn that are already there. I do so love the autumn nature table as there are so many treasures out in nature that you can collect to adorn it with, so it is constantly evolving.

dsc05245

I bought the little plastic gourds on our recent trip to Germany. You can purchase such beautiful seasonal decorations in Germany, I always make sure I treat myself to a few while I am there.

I hope you are enjoying the harvest season too!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s