Monday 28 September 2015

Apples, apples, sweet eaters on Midsummer Common

Yesterday on a lovely sunny September Sunday we had a walk along the river and came across this amazing apple tree. The house in which garden it stood was empty and apples were all over the floor.
As today is again a warm sunny autumn day, I decided to have a walk there with some plastic bags and apple picker to see what they were like.

I gave many away to passers by and the verdict was: 10 out of 10 for taste. Delicious, juicy eaters.
One of the passers by was Magic, he loved the apples too and as he was on his way to have a shower at Winter Comfort, he was happy to take a carrier bag of apples with him to hand out to others.

I spoke with the manager of Fort St George who told me that the house is not in permanent use and all the apples would go to waste. At least this year some of them ended up into grateful mouths!

Monday 14 September 2015

Wow, what amazing pears

I walk past this garden many times when I go to Mitcham's corner opposite Staples.
Unfortunately every time I know on the apartment doors, it is to no avail. However today I struck it luck. Massimo, who lives on the ground floor was in and like last year let me in to pick these amazing pears that were scattered around the car park. Big and juicy. On the way back many people had one for their lunch, from the post lady, to some builders, a mum with her children and  me. What a treat.

There were also a few figs left, but they were nearly finished. Nice to know for next year

Saturday 5 September 2015

First pressing of the year

After all the apple picking this week I have decided to press the apples with a few of my newly made friends.

Manon was the first to join to help set up the gazebo, tables and chairs followed swiftly by Andrea of the NVS (new comers and visiting scholars)

Silvia came with her children and mother and father,who also turned out to be great helpers.

We had a fun and productive morning we started at 9.30 and finished by 11.30 at which time Graham and Lida came to pick up the press and hopper so that they could use it for their group at the workshop. It was such a success so that next year we might combine the pressing and do this together.

Friday 4 September 2015

Fruit, fruit glorious fruit

Armed with my trusty fruit picker and wheel barrow, I went on a local adventure

First I followed up on a call from my neighbour, Silvia, who saw some laden apple trees near the Indian Restaurant on Victoria Road.  After having spoken with the tenant, I managed to clear up all the rotten apples that were already on the ground and within 1/2 hour had a wheel barrow full of cooking and eating apples. They shone like jewels, so attracted lots of attention so a great way to hand out to passers by.

As we will be pressing these apples tomorrow with the new comers and visiting scholars, I dropped them off in the garden straight away.

On my way I noticed figs on the floor, when I looked up saw a dozen lovely ripe ones waiting to be picked. With my picker they were swiftly removed, one eaten straight away and the rest are to give away and maybe have some for breakfast.

From the back of the carpark across the road from us, I noticed a tree with beautiful red apples. I knocked on their door and Lida opened up and introduced me to her husband Graham.
It so happened that they too are going to press their apples tomorrow. As they only have eaters and I only have cookers I have suggested a swap to get a better acidity ratio.
We agreed to stay in touch as Vincent the man with the apple juicing knowledge will get back to me to arrange the best way to go about it. As I have picked all my apples for now and I don't need my picker, it will come to good use for them tomorrow.

All this in one hour! Meeting interesting and kind people, eating healthy fruit and looking forward to another lovely day tomorrow.

Thursday 3 September 2015

House is sold - apples are falling ....

After a tip off from my neighbour that there is a tree on Stretten Ave shedding its load, I went to investigate.\

It turned out to be sold and remember from last year meeting Chris and Fiona (the owners very grown up children)who harvested the apples with their mum when they were children. When  I knocked on the door, there was no answer.Tthe house is empty and apples were all over the floor (also next door where the student house's drive was dotted with rotten apples)

After picking most of the apples, I tidied up and on my way home managed to hand out 1/2 of the apples picked.

A great way to get to know your  neighbours. I can recommend it to anyone!

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Back to Panton Street

Reggie and I went back this evening to finish off the cooking apple tree.
There was not much for me to do as my apple picking had already harvest all that were in reaching height. Reggie however was a star as he climbed the tree and Kate and I emptied the bin that he lowered down to us.

After a tidy of the garden, we left with another crate of beautiful cooking apples.
They will be pressed  this weekend, weather permitting and hopefully some delicious juice with go to Reggie, Kate and their neighbour Toby (who asked me to do some more harvesting of eaters for him in the near future)

I will be busy, whilst meeting some lovely people. What a treat

Friday 28 August 2015

Sun is shining and a laden table is on the front porch

After a rather unpredictable day, where despite a lot of rain, we picked

  •  Runner Beans,  
  • Cooking apples, 
  • cucumbers and 
  • courgettes.

They are now on our little table, for others to enjoy.

Thank you for the person who dropped off a carrier bag of eating apples. I had one for my breakfast. Delicious!

Will be picking pears today, just around the corner in Harvey Goodwin Avenue, so for pear lovers, come and have a look at the table in the next few days.

Looking forward to it.

Thursday 27 August 2015

26th August 2015

I received a call from Kate  saying that the apples are dropping and could we come with a group to pick.
Reggie, Thomas, Mark and I went armed with pickers, boxes and bags and picked to our hearts' content. We stopped when it became dark, but still plenty more to come.
Reggie high up in the tree

For now,  the majority of my batch will go on the Abundance table, and make some of Monique's Apple crumblies to surprise the family. The next lot I harvest from Kate's garden will be used for when I will be picking eaters as the mix of 1/3 cookers and 2/3 eaters makes a delicious apple juice.
The press is still in storage but will be itching soon to come out.

So today on the table we have:

Purple French beans
and delicious cooking apples from Kate's garden

Why not walk by and pick some up for you to enjoy.

20th August 2015 - First time for the Abundance table to see the light

As I don't have my allotment anymore the start of the Abundance table is a little later than last year. But never the less, once again we have some delicious fresh food.

Today we had some Runner Beans, cucumbers and french beans.

All harvested from within walking distance from our home.


Tuesday 9 June 2015

Elderflower cordial making with New Comers and visiting scholars

Last week on my way to the New Comers and Visiting scholars Tuesday meeting I noticed that along the river Cam on Chesterton Road, was a fantastic Elder in flower. Plenty to pick and make Elderflower Cordial with.  Later that afternoon my son Michael and I made our first batch of pure delight. This is our annual ritual to welcome summer. I hope it will be a good one.

This is the starting sign for many more foraging trips in the weeks ahead.

Rather than making this delicious drink all by myself, I thought it might be nice to invite some of the visiting scholars  partners to come and join in so we arranged  to meet this afternoon and pick the flowers, make the juice and consume some together.

In the end, we picked the flowers from St Luke's church yard and did the 'workshop' in my house.
We had visitors from Germany, Japan, China, America, Iran, India and Korea and all went home with their own little bottle.

With the left over lemon I made elderflower and lemon marmalade and ate it on a lovely warm scone.

We had a great hour together.