Thursday, 19 January 2017

Apple Trees For Sale

Anyone that read this blog will know that each year I graft a few apple trees, this keeps the skills fresh in my mind as well as creating some great old and interesting varieties of apples. 

This year I've finally got round to selling some and I've listed them on my Etsy shop, although I have many more types that I've not put up yet. 
Anyone who is interested please leave a comment or send me an email or Facebook message and I'll put some great deals together for multiple trees. I'm not out to make a huge profit, I just want to fun this hobby and create some nice trees in the process!

The bit from my listing about how I grow my trees: - 

All the apple trees I grow are grown on MM106 root stocks which I find grow well in most conditions but are easily controlled by pruning. I even use this type of root stock to grow my 30 cordons down my garden planted 2ft apart. 

I grow and graft all the trees myself, here on my small holding in Herefordshire. Everything is grown using organic methods. Scion wood used to graft on to the trees is collected from old local orchards. 
The trees are grown slowly on a north facing slope, which means that when they are shown some love and care they will romp away! The only pest control I use is to let the chickens into the nursery each winter to eat the bugs, no sprays of any sort have been used on these trees.

Trees will be packaged for sale as bare root trees. Trees should be pruned before they are planted by at least a third to make up for the roots they have lost when they are dug up. I may prune some of the trees before hand to make packaging possible! They will soon put this growth back on and benefit from it. 

Trees should be planted with the scar (where I grafted the tree) above ground. 

When you receive delivery please either plant straight away or heel them into the ground to prevent the root from drying out or the frost affecting them.

These trees are all two or three years old and tend to range from 3 - 6ft, although most will be trimmed down for shipping unless you message otherwise. 

The list - 

Eating apples
Cox Orange Pipping Classic eating apple
Winter banana  Supposed to taste of banana but I never found that. Good tasting apple though that holds well on the tree late in the season
American Mother Good frost tolerant blossom, good in a cool summer, heavy cropper and apples have a hint of vanilla to them
Orleans Rennit 18th century french apple that some say is the best tasting apple ever. 
Tydemaster Late Orange Cox style apple with later season and sharper flavour
claygate Permain Victorian apple with soft juicy flesh
Elestons Orange Cox flavour with an anniseed note to it. Lovely juicy apple
Phillimore Good eating apple
Winston Used to be called Winters King, Makes qutie a compact tree with good crisp apples
Fiesta Cox style apple - really tasty! Best for juicing
Discovery One of the earliest apples, great eaten from the tree
Ribston Pippin Yorkshire apple, parent to the cox, 
Bakers Delisious Good early apple from south wales
May Queen Hard and crisp apple, rpen in Novemeber and will keep until May
Liberty Modern vareity bred for disease resistance
Pitmarsons pineapple Great little apples - like crab apples in size - but one of the best tasting apples out there
Brownlees russet Good tasting russet apple
Ashmeads Kernal old vareitity that keeps well. Russeted apple
Red winsor Really lovely red apple that still has great taste
Sunset Similar to cox but not so sharp in flavour but better at resisting scab and canker
Pixie Small but really sweet flaoured fruit
Spartan Really good looking apples
George Cave  Really early eating apple, some say better than discovery - frost hardy blossom 
Duel purpose apples
Sotch bridgett Great cooking apple that keeps until may and mellows enough after christmas to be an eater
Blenham Orange Great off the tree to eat or to cook, really good flavour
Hugsons Golden Reinette Good for apple charlotte, but great for eating off the tree in early october
Coooking apples
Howgate wonder Huge cooking apples
Warners king Really early cooker, tasty
Annie Elizabeth  Good cooker - keeps it shape when cooked
Bramley Classic cooking apple
Cider apples
Le Bret
Harry Masters Jersey
Yarlington Mill

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Strawberry Cake

I use this blog as a diary of things I've done here, amongst other things.
Also as a record of all the birthdays cakes I've made over the years!
My daughter was five over the weekend and when I asked her what she wanted she said a cake in the shape of a strawberry. 
I didn't try to discourage her as I thought I might be able to pull this one off! A random request though but still easier than if she'd have asked for a raspberry! I think I've got to make another one for her party at the weekend now!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Defrost The Freezer

Sometimes the excitement in my life knows no bounds. 
One of the first jobs I did this year was to defrost the freezer that stands in our dinning room. 
As you can see from the picture above it was long overdue, drawers were hard to open, there were things in there that I had no idea what they were, a polar bear had taken residence in the top box - it was time for a sort out!

I took everything out, sorted through it all, chucked away some old stuff, shuffled it round so I knew what we had, stored the good stuff in the other freezer then set about defrosting it, towels at the ready. 

Not sure why I put it off so long, it's so much easier now I can see what everything is and can get stuff out of the back of it. Before it was like my dirty little secret, I'd try to open it so people didn't see in!

Anyone else have a freezer that looked like mine or is it just me that lets things get this bad?

Monday, 16 January 2017

40 Years Isolated

Just a short post today. 
I came across this story a few years ago but think it's so incredible that I tend to read it again every year, it's about a Russian family that, to escape religious persecution, disappeared into the heart of Siberia. 
What helicopter pilot saw 150 miles from the nearest settlement
They grabbed what they could and in 1936 headed off into the wilderness. They lived in such isolation that they didn't even know about World War 2 , it was a full 40 years before they were discovered. 

What I think is really incredible is just their shear survival, growing what they could and living on the brink of starvation, saving just enough seed to grow food for the following year and eating the rest. 
I'm sure many of you have come across this story before as it has been shared on many blogs (I think I came across it first on Gorges blog many years ago) and news sites but if you haven't then the article is well worth a read. 

What other stories of survival do you find amazing?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Log Circle

This is something I've been meaning to do for a while, but with my eldest daughters party next weekend I decided to get out there and make a log circle. 
I've decided to make it in our little willow coppice area. It's far enough away from the house to be an adventure for the kids when we use it on an evening and away from all my machinery for the party! 

I had my two helpers helping with the layout and building a little fire to christen it. they loved collecting sticks and building it up in the middle.
 My eldest was explaining the rules of the forest school that she does at school to me and her sister. She was very sure that you only walked inside the log circle if an adult was with you or told you to do so - very sensible rule when fire is involved. I think it'll be great to keep some of these rules going with them and it should make the party easier next weekend as her whole class already knows these. I plan on asking the teacher, getting a list and following the same rules if they make sense. 

We finished off with a little fire and roasted some marshmallows (be rude not to) whilst we chatted about the sunset and had a cuddle around the fire, walking back when it was dark. 

Hopefully I'll be able to teach them some bush craft skills and cook out there occasionally. I'm planning on planting a few more trees in this area this year, buying some in and using willow cuttings to increase the future firewood area.

Anyone else got an area for a fire outside? Do you use it much?
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