Sunday, February 3, 2013

Getting around to planting a round orchard

So, finally some movement on the farm- beyond the ever present weeds growing...

                                             the orchard planting extravaganza 

How does one decide which apple trees you would like in an orchard? For me the question and more pertinently the answer was to be found in a nights heavy drinking!

A couple of weeks ago I visited a cider museum that lies between Wool and Dorchester they house presses that predate the use of metal in machinery! One from 1670 has a wooden screw mechanism, later ones from about 1790 used metal parts to help with ware and tear.

After the educational experience, I chatted with the proprietor about the single apple ciders they sold, and chose half a dozen to try.


Next a tough evening with my brother allowed us to sort the good from the bad..

After a technical session of expert tasting accompanied by utterly insufficient notes and fading common sense we chose:

2 x gala, for their sweet eating flavour, and the fact that the kids love eating them
 2 x katy, the tastiest of the ciders (available to all in supermarkets under the name katy rose, by thatchers)
 2 x red streak, as we agreed this was the best tasting cider (although we opened it last so a bias may be present)
 1 x williams' Bon  Chretien, a pear bought in last minute, with no planning (that may not blossom on its own) to ensure we had a lucky odd number of trees.

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