Back to my ‘other garden’ in time for some apple picking.  A friend harvested the aromatic, red Discovery last month (and sold them for a good cause).  Most of the mid season Fortune had dropped off the tree, but they had a soft landing and there are plenty that will make good chutney.  I’ve collected around 20lb of windfalls so I need to stock up on sugar and vinegar. The sturdy branches of the Sunset are weighed down with ripening apples, green shading to yellow and streaked with red.  Picked soon and kept cool they should store till Christmas.

I’ve never been dependant on crops I’ve grown myself, and have always had the option of turning to a well stocked shop when necessary, but home grown crops stored for the winter and shelves stocked with home-made preserves give me a reassuring (if fictional) sense of self reliance.  There are no home grown onions, potatoes or winter squash to squirrel away this year.  A box of carefully wrapped apples and some jars of chutney will be my winter stores.

Harvests are for sharing too, of course.  It’s time to polish up the perfect, crisp Fortune that I caught before they fell from the tree and to go and look up some old friends.