It's Apple Day today, Common Ground's nationwide celebration of all things pomme. And to help my festivities (picking the last fruit in the garden before those pesky squirrels nick the lot), I've just received my favourite catalogue of the season. I discovered Adam's Apples three years ago after becoming interested in heritage apple varieties. The result was this internet discovery: lots of choice (over 100 varieties), far cheaper than most suppliers, who was doing a special offer on 10 trees suitable for cordons. E-mail and telephone conversations ensued where I described the soil, aspect and climate of my plot and some of the trees I'd like to have - Ashmead's Kernel, Falstaff and Egremont Russet were on my list. Adam then suggested some further varieties (e.g. Discovery to replace Beauty of Bath) and I ended up with a selection of 5. By then I was so confident of Adam's expertise, I left the choice of the other 5 to him. My 10 trees are a combination of old and new varieties:
- Ashmead's Kernel
- Court of Wick
- Egremont Russet
- James Grieve
- Kidds Orange Red
The trees were healthy and very well packed on arrival. This year's been the first good cropping on the plot, as expected. The apples so far (since September) are truly scrumptious and some varieties will store well into the new year. As this is one of our indispensible weekly food items, that's very good news for our pockets.
Every year I receive my new catalogue and fantasise about a further selection of cooking, dessert and cider varieties for my dream orchard. Slack Ma Girdle, Hoary Morning and Sops in Wine are on my list alongside Roundway Magnum Bonum - an old Wiltshire variety that hails from just 10 miles away. I'm determined to squeeze in a few more somewhere, but I'll probably need to start or get involved with a community orchard to realise my true apple ambitions. In the meantime I'm also perusing the catalogue for other fruity delights for next year's plot, such as blackcurrants, kiwi fruit and possibly a more unusual variety of rhubarb.
Which apples or other fruit would you have in your dream garden or orchard?