BBC South tonight reported that apple growers are looking at a vintage crop this year. Loads of cider will result:
Growers are looking to produce a vintage cider season following a wet summer which produced a bumper apple crop, both in size and quality.
I was reassured to hear this. We've made a few key policy decisions Chez Walter this year. Double glazing and regularly topping up our ponds were two of them. I also resolved to do something about our apples. We were lucky enough to inherit two apple trees when we moved to our house 20-odd years ago.
Up until now, we have eaten the odd apple and swept the rest up, swearing heavily, at the end of the year.
This year, I have seized the initiative. I looked up apple picking on the web. I am regularly going out and doing a gentle lift and twist, as advised, then taking any so released fruit and wrapping it carefully in a sheet from the Guardian Saturday of Observer magazine. A nice leftish-wing wrapping for them.
We've got one tree which are eaters and one tree which are cookers. So I am having to separate them.
What has been rather disconcerting has been the overwhelming volume of apples which I have had to wrap up. I have about four big tubs safely stowed away with still loads of fruit left on the trees. Just two small trees!
And I didn't have to lift a finger to cultivate these things!
The good thing is that the eaters are certainly very good in quality - lovely and crisp.
But the whole thing has left me in awe of apple trees.