I spent a good part of the weekend in the garden, thanks to some sunny weather (finally), removing more of the fallen fruit. Some of it had fallen in the garden beds amongst the leaves, so I had to be careful about disturbing the earthworms that were wriggling amongst the leaf litter.
I’ve filled quite a few bags now; I’ve decided that I won’t be composting them this time around as a) my small tumble compost bin won’t hold all of it and b) I’ve noticed that there are some signs of brown rot, thanks to the hot, humid, rainy, confused weather we had over summer (with more storms on the way as I type).
Most of the fruit looks fine, but I’d prefer to be safe than sorry as I’ve only been looking after the orchard for a short time. I’ll go into more detail about this at a later date, but for now I’ll just say that all of the books and websites that I’ve checked say to destroy and not compost the fruit if there are signs of rots, etc.
I then filled a couple of bags with ivy, which is in some of the beds and winding around the trees, until a monumental hayfever attack from the ivy drove me indoors in search of medication and steam. Next time, I’ll take the tablets first and wear a dust mask!
However, I did manage to pick a few Beurre Bosc pears that the birds haven’t yet managed to get to! Not sure if I’ll be as lucky with the apples, as the birds are still out there and so is the rainy weather. Fingers crossed!
And there was another small discovery – some hazelnuts buried in amongst the ivy. I love hazelnuts; I eat them (ground) on toasted sandwiches with honey and berries for breakfast, and my favourite cake as a very young child was hazelnut cake, eaten in a cafe in the old, old Penrith Plaza.
I’ve no idea if the ones I found on the weekend are still edible, as I believe hazelnuts are pollinated in winter and ripen in late summer/early autumn. Time to hit the books to find out… along with brown rot treatments and my biggest fear of all – pruning!