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Thursday 8th May 2008

An Apple Adventure

An Apple Adventure

With rising and increasing food prices internationally, a family of four including 2 ravishingly hungry growing girls, a menagerie of furry friends, 1 very average income (not increasing!), threatening interest rates on our mortgage… lets just say I’m very thankful for anything that comes our way that doesn’t require a withdrawal from my wallet.

So while on one of our family walks, several (dare I say) months ago we discovered a gorgeously heavy laden Apple tree in a fence line of a neighbouring farm. The branches were sagging heavily, struggling with the weight of all the fruit.

This tree was chocker and hundreds of fallen apples littered the ground too. Some had been given the once over by local birds, but most were in perfect condition. On closer inspection I guessed the apples were Granny Smiths however they were covered in dust from the dry conditions we had had, so we would have to take them home, give them a wash and cut them open to be sure. We collected a couple each, one for each hand and headed home.

An Apple Adventure

After giving them a good wash, we cut them open and yes, they were indeed Granny Smiths - crisp, tart and sharp, perfect for many of our favourite different apple recipes and dishes.

We have a couple of Granny Smith trees in our own orchard at home too, however unfortunately they are still young and only yielding one or two small fruit each year. Also with the harsh winds they’ve been subjected to since we planted them, I’m not sure they’ve had the best start.

To get good yields from them, we’d possibly do better (and they definitely would do better) in the care of someone who knew what they were doing and offered more nurturing than I do. Don’t get me wrong … I adore fresh produce from gardens and orchards, yet unfortunately I’m.. well.. I could be regarded as a neglectful gardener. I’m happy to plant them, however embarrassingly it seems I soon loose interest and regrettably often leave my poor garden babies to fend for themselves through severe frosts, snow, drought and windy conditions. Needless to say they don’t often thrive with this kind of neglect!

An Apple Adventure

An Apple Adventure

On returning on another walk we came to the conclusion that nobody other than the birds and perhaps a possum or two were enjoying these apples and it really was a great waste having them rotting on the ground. So upon our 3rd visit, we made sure we were equipped for carrying more than just a couple each home.

Obviously this Granny Smith tree is very well established and thriving no end. I wonder how old it is and how it came about? One thought I had is that it may be the result of a passenger throwing an apple core from a train when it ran past that way, many moons ago. Or perhaps there was a an old farm cottage on the site that has long gone. I’m thinking the latter is more likely as there seemed to also be Elder berries grafted on. I’m not sure, however I am rather thankful.

An Apple Adventure

Loaded with a couple of baskets and a shopping bag or two, we filled them up very quickly and whilst the girls were happy carrying the empty baskets up to the tree, bringing them home filled with apples proved to be a different story. To be sure they were heavy and perhaps I hadn’t thought through how I was going to lug home all the apples, but thankfully we managed somehow.

An Apple Adventure

So what have we made with all these wonderful apples?
Fingers crossed I can share some recipes soon!

Bron

14 comments »

  1. mmm.. scrumpted fruit always tastes sweeter (and not just cos they’re usually old trees and heritage varieties)

    can’t wait to see what you do with them!

    zoe — Thursday 8th May 2008 6:35 pm

  2. What a windfall.

    barbara — Thursday 8th May 2008 7:41 pm

  3. Seems that tree was waiting there just so you could find it.

    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) — Thursday 8th May 2008 11:28 pm

  4. what a great discovery. I can only wish I have an apple tree near where I stay. Can’t wait to see what you are making with those gorgeous apples!

    Mandy — Friday 9th May 2008 2:16 am

  5. How wonderful! Our neighbours three doors down rent their house and in the garden is an old and very prolific apple tree. But… they never pick the apples! It’s so sad and I’m often tempted to knock on their door and ask if I can collect a few.

    I have to admit to being of the same school of neglectful vegetable husbandry as you are… I germinate the seeds and fuss over them, and then I forget about them and the greenfly or snails or whatever eat them alive… We’re trying again this year with tomatoes, butternut and chillies, so will keep you posted…

    Jeanne — Friday 9th May 2008 2:48 am

  6. But just as this heavy laden apple tree proves, neglected plants may prove the most tough and fruitful!
    Gorgeous photos. Wonderful girls! So glad they’re strong too!

    MyKitchenInHalfCups — Saturday 10th May 2008 12:40 am

  7. Such lovely girls! I’m sure they had fun picking all those beautiful apples.

    lynne — Saturday 10th May 2008 5:41 am

  8. What gorgeous photos. There is nothing I love more than being able to pick my own fruit and veges for free! (if only my flat’s patch of dirt wasn’t so inhospitable as to allow a garden to be planted…who knows how long I’ll be renting here anyway?) I’m sure a crumble or fruit sponge would be wonderful, you could always try making applesauce or chutney if you have tons of the fruit.

    Laura @ Hungry and Frozen — Saturday 10th May 2008 12:48 pm

  9. A very charming story. Something reminiscent of some romantic childhood fantasies of mine. You’ve got very fortunate kids!

    Bordeaux — Sunday 11th May 2008 3:22 am

  10. Your girls are wonderful! Happy Mother’s day! Is it the same day in Australia?
    The apple tree is a great and yummy discovery!

    tartelette — Sunday 11th May 2008 4:06 pm

  11. I so want to come live where you do!!! Wow! I just stopped by to let you know I’ve given you an award. Go check it out on my blog (and a giveaway too!)

    Holly — Sunday 11th May 2008 7:53 pm

  12. Precious daughters, I am blessed with three now grown myself. Oh, how I miss living
    in the country! Lucky you.

    Kim — Tuesday 13th May 2008 7:56 am

  13. what a great find!

    steamy kitchen — Wednesday 14th May 2008 1:43 am

  14. Hi Bron,sorry my comment is so late, lots of dial up problems!! You have 2 stunning daughters…..and WHAT A FIND with all those apples. Golly, that tree is amazing!! I can’t wait to see what all you have done with them. Such a lovely post and beautiful photography as usual. I really enjoyed reading it. My “baby” son turned 26 the day you posted this :)Time sure does fly!! Hugs, Colleen

    Colleen — Thursday 15th May 2008 8:37 am

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