Thursday 6 October 2016


On my way to my friends Simin and Elsa, I found an abundance of nuts and fruit.
It was a glorious day, sun was shining with a slight feel of autumn in the air.
First I went to Simin to return her empty jar after finishing her delicious apple and ginger compot gift, which she gave last weekend as part of the Bring and Share event.

On the way there I noticed that the walnut tree on the corner with Akeman street and Stretten Ave was dropping its nuts. I picked up the ones on the pavement and the very kind builder who was working next door gave me some more handfuls. I was very grateful as I eat them every day in my salads. I better dig out my nut cracker so I can enjoy them in the months to come.

A few minutes later I arrived at Simin's on Lexington Close and when I was looking for a place to park my bike, I noticed a hazel across the road. No more nuts on the tree but on the ground I managed to collect a few hand fulls of nuts the squirrels had not eaten yet. With great excitement I have taken them home to see if the squirels knew something I did not.

The result: not one usable nut, the squirrels new better!

Then I went to see Elsa on Windsor Road, we had a lovely lunch and for afters went into the garden to finish picking the beautiful cooking apples on her tree. So great that Elsa has an apple picking stick as we managed to pick 3 large bags of unblemished apples  ready to store and turn into juice later next week.  Whilst picking we noticed that her neighbour still had some plums on their tree. Not many as most were rotting on the floor, but after finishing the apple picking we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed the taste of the last 4 perfect unblemished and sweet plums.  What a joy!

Thursday 29 September 2016

Pears in September

After seeing the pears on Canterbury street a few weeks ago, I decided to go back and see how the pears were doing,  as I needed to go to the shops on Histon Road so went via Windsor Road to Canterbury road.

Good fortune as the pears had just started to drop so harvesting was easy.
After only a few minutes, I returned with a large bag of beautiful conference pears. I will store them and eat one or two a day over the next few weeks as part of my breakfast.

Juicy and delicious.

Monday 19 September 2016

Picking eating apples at Elsa

Today went to Elsa's on Windsor Road to pick eating apples. They were not too sweet and would be good to press without mixing with cookers.

On the way back I noticed an eating apple tree in the same street, over hanging the pavement.
Will see if next week they are still on the tree as the wheelie bin is totally full with apple pressing left overs.

Thank you Elsa for the lovely apples.

Sunday 18 September 2016

Apple picking at Jo's

After a false start on Friday (very wet weather) we picked some apples at Jo's across the street.
Not many but enough to have to do a few pressings with Weihua, Greg and Mayumi .
The weather was a little better but the first feel of autumn. 34 degree last week whereas 16 degree today.
Nonetheless we had a lovely time. We are blessed to have an Abundance of Lovely people and apples!

Saturday 17 September 2016

apple picking at St Edmunds' College

Due to the terrible weather on Friday, Mark and I took the opportunity today to pick some eating apples at St Edmunds' College as tomorrow will be apple juicing with some members of the NVS.
The apples are in abundance but very small. I even managed to pick some pears with the new pickers. A passerby who has lived here for 50 years told us about the plum trees she used to harvest. Must have a look next year to see if there are some to share.

The walnuts are almost ready too but the squirrels seem to have been there a little earlier than me!

Thursday 15 September 2016

Fruit at St Luke's school

Today I went to have a look at the school orchard. Many of the apples have already dropped on the ground. Should've been there a week earlier. Still some on the trees, will check with the school if they can harvest for a pressing session.

Pears are nearly ready and the quinces are still growing.

Lots of lovely trees, just need some more care and attention

Apples in French' road are ready

On my way to checking out St Edmunds I swung by French' road to see if the apple tree, Hugo and I harvested last year had any apples and if so if they were ready.

I notice a lot of rotten apples on the floor and still some to harvest. I have decided to go back this afternoon as the weather is beautifully warm and sunny. Such a treat at this time in the year.
There are not many, but they will be lovely for the coming breakfasts.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Apples, Pears and Figs on Canterbury Street

On my search for the last black berries, I went via Histon Road recreation ground. Unfortunately I was too late. None left but ending at the other side of the park found a lovely apple tree at 69 Canterbury street. It is a rented house and the tenant was happy for me to pick the apples. They are difficult to identify,  Pressing them made a lovely fresh juice. No need to mix with other apples.

The pears and figs in the garden are not quite ready yet. Will check next week.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Eating apples and cookers in Claire Street

I remembered that in the little passage way on the side of the Bangladeshi restaurant Meghna there was a rental garden with yellow plums, green gages, cooking and eating apples.
The eating apples are sweet but with a lot of blemishes. Very good for pressing.
I went today before going to the NVS as later this afternoon a group of the NVS and Skills Exchange members will meet up to pick more eating apples at Garden Walk to then go to Victoria Road to press them all into some lovely sweet juice.

Black berries

Our annual search for black berries used to be very easy. Just down the road on Primrose Street, or St Luke's school playground,  things have changed. The builders cut down all the black berries as did the groundsman at the school and On his way to work at Coton Primary School, Thomas used to see the progress of the black berries near the motor way bridge and then tell me when it would be time to pack up and get ready for some serious picking.  This year, all changed as he stopped his job there and I had no guide on when to pick. When I came today, I picked about 2kg and turned it into delicious cordial.
Still much more to come, so expect to be back in a week's time. I was told that Histon Road recreation ground had some good berries too. Have not got time this week but will try next week.

Monday 29 August 2016

Cooking apples in Stretten Avenue are ready

For the moment I arrived in Cambridge, I have been able to pick the apples in this garden. When I first saw the tree, it was over hanging the road so a mess on the pavement and road as well as in the next door's garden. This house is rented out so when the apples are ready there are no students present. The owner of the tree was an old lady who had just gone into a nursing home. Her children were happy for me to harvest. I remember baking a pie for her which her son took to his mother.

He also showed me that they had an apple tree and damson tree in the back garden.

Then last year, the house was rented out and I managed to pick the apples again.

Now a family has bought the property and they too were happy for me to harvest.
These apples are cookers, no signs of grubs very good quality

Sunday 28 August 2016

The 2016 apple season has started

After a lovely open gardens walk in Garden Walk, I spotted a most beautiful apple tree in Paul and Yusuf's garden. They told me that the apples are very early (ready on the 1st August) and that they don't keep at all and taste rather 'cotton wool' like (don't know how that tastes but does't sound nice)

I asked them if I could try and press them, so a week later, armed with my apple picker and some bags I went to pick this abundance of lovely red apples.  Before starting Yusuf had baked a most delicious Hungarian cake to go with the coffee. After a lovely chat, I set to work and came back home with a large crate of sweet red apples.

The first pressing of the season was preformed in our new garden in the sunshine which resulted in some bottles for Paul and Yusuf as well as for Darren and Sarah as Maddy came to help out and learn how turn apples into juice.

Contrary to the description the boys gave me, the juice was sweet and fresh and gratefully received.