Ok - so I was in Fairweathers in Beaulieu yesterday buying a pressie for my son's birthday and my eye was drawn to a bargain...a fruit picker device (see pic) - a mere £3.99
Aha I thought, just what I need. Our apple tree has delivered tons (well very nearly) of fruit this year. Most falls to the ground and then we have a race with our dogs to see who can clear it up first! I won't go into details but apples don't stay inside dogs very long....one a day is ok but 9 or 10 can get quite messy!
So this device would easily allow me to get the fruit off the tree before it falls thus allowing me to use it. I had an old extending aluminium thing that used to allow a hose to be connected to it so that you could wash conservatory roofs etc. It had long since sprung various leaks so was ripe for recycling.
After a little DIY bodging on my part I fixed the picker to the pole and tried it out. It worked a treat and I soon found myself developing a nifty technique. Occasionally the intended fruit springs off the tree requiring catching skills of a Paul Collingwood standard (for those who don't know him he's a gifted England cricketer with a series of remarkable catches to his name). In 15 minutes this is what I had gathered....
Enthused by the fruits of my labours (alright alright - could you do better?) I thought I'd venture further afield. My neighbour has a tree still laden with eating apples and he was delighted that I wanted to come and pick some.
Now his apples were a different kettle of fish - there were so many and some were quite defiant of my attempts to pick them. I confess that it became a bit of a sport akin to fishing. Some would sur
render quickly while others leapt away. And some fought back! Within a few minutes I had been hit on the head several times and one caught me a severe blow to my left cheekbone which is bruising up nicely (rather like the apple itself as it happens). Now I've never been one for excessive Health and Safety stuff but I have now developed the Acme Apple Pickers Kit...(see right)
I now have so many apples that I have ordered a press and a Pulpmaster (yes really!) from a great site
that have some good offers at the moment and I've been checking out how to pasteurise the juice.....follow this link to a nice little blog about this
from the Carbon Descent Food series.
Here's what I collected in around 45 minutes....as you can see the vultures (or in this case Juno and Guinevere) started circling as soon as I put the buckets down. And we still import 90% of the fruit we eat in the UK - absolutely crazy!!