Apple season

Apple cheeks, apple weeks, the race against the birds…

The inherited tree which has the codlin moth – I know it’s time to strip the tree when the birds begin to peck at the apple tops – this means they are sweet and ready. Cutting around the moth tunnels, making apple sauce which turn into breakfast or crumbles or just eaten with a teaspoon standing at the fridge when I realise I’m starving but have to do the school run in two minutes. (I continue to ‘battle’ against the codlin moth. They are determined creatures.) The commitment of usingĀ seasonal abundance. It’s a gift, sure, but it’s work. Sometimes hours and hour of work. Sitting at the table, making the meditation ‘can I take all the peel off in one go?’ Buckets and buckets of practice later tell me that I can’t, but it’s fun trying.

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The Ballerina apple tree which was a wedding present 20 years ago, and moved with us from flat to flat in a big pot, finally planted into the ground here and produces the most beautiful green and red apples, like the ones from Snow White…

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This tree on an abandoned section – the way fruit trees give and give, regardless of how they are tended or neglected. Walking onto ‘private property’ to pick the apples. Respecting the tree’s gift more than the human’s claim. Not wanting the generosity of the tree to go unnoticed, unappreciated. Leaving plenty for the birds.

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At my permaculture course, Duncan brings two beautiful baskets of apples from his small farm. Four heritage varieties – enough for everyone to take a few home to taste. On the permaculture course, people are passionate about plants, about fruit trees, about the earth. People have strong opinions – in discussion time the debates are weighty, rich, sometimes a little heated…but at lunch time, we sit around munching Duncan’s apples. That they are fine, crisp, tasty apples, we all agree on.

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The beauty of the simple backyard apple, wet from being rinsedĀ in cold water, fresh-picked off the tree.

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I’m only in it for the aesthetics

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Not really. But I do get enormous pleasure from taking my twee basket and a sharp knife out to the garden and seeing what is ready to eat, filling the basket with a bit of this, a bit of that…and then just enjoying looking at it for a while, before prepping the vegetables for cooking or fridge storage.

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Sometimes I wonder if the internet needs more photographs of vegetables that I grew…but if there is always room for more cat pictures, then I reckon there’s room for my photos of cavolo nero, too. It’s a handsome vegetable, cavolo nero, don’t you think? Dignified.

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warm autumn

Here is how the big vegetable bed looks right now….because it has been such a warm autumn, everything has grown quickly and lushly, which you might think is a good thing, but it isn’t really. It means that everything will be read to eat soon, and then when the really cold weather hits, the garden will be empty. Aah, well. Not much I can do about the weather!

(Go HERE FOR A REMINDER OF HOW IT LOOKED IN MARCH.)

I’m growing lots of Kale, green and purple, now that I’ve learned the best ways to cook it – it’s a great crop that grows throughout winter, much like silverbeet does.

My olive tree, which was about one foot high when I bought it, is now about six feet high and after seven years, has finally fruited! Maybe moving it from from the old garden to the new garden was ‘motivating’ for it?

There are lots of these dandelion-clocks about in the garden – I used to see them as a weed-enemy before I learned all the wonderful properties of the dandelion plant. Now I can blow them with abandon, like I used to when I was a kid.

Make a wish!