The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


11 August 2015

Making use of Windfall Apples

I never did get around to thinning quite a heavy crop of apples and as a result, we've had quite a lot of windfalls.   These are Bramleys and Katies. Rather than give them all to the chickens - even though they really love them, I made a batch of mint jelly today.  Having cooked the apples, I made an improvised strainer from an upturned stool and a suspended colander lined with muslin with a bowl in the base to catch the juice (much to the intrigue of our friend Brian who's painting the windows!).  Using desert and cooking apples meant that some cooked much quicker than others but it was none the worse for that.  I added lemon juice to take away some of the sweetness and added the chopped mint at setting point.  I recycled some washed jam jars and warmed them in the bottom oven. When all is cooled, I'll do some labels but I reckon these should see us through the winter.  Talking of winter: Chris and Kyle have filled half the drive with sycamore logs for winter burning.  That means logging and lugging on Saturday!!

PS The chickens enjoyed the apple pulp after the juice had been extracted and I dry citrus peel to make firelighters for lighting those winter fires.  The oils in them burn well and smell fab!

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