Celebrating your apple harvest

Celebrating your apple harvest

Celebrate your apple harvest at one of the many apple days happening all over the country throughout September and October. ­

Look out for apple festivals at gardens, orchards, village centres and National Trust properties across the country. The biggest of them all is the Apple Festival on October 13th and 14th at the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm in Kent, home to an astonishing 2,200 different varieties of apple – the largest collection in the world.

It’s a great way to get to know your apples better. Many apple days offer identification services so you can at last find out the name of that mystery apple variety is that’s growing in your garden. And if you’re planning to plant more apples this autumn, it’s your chance to taste all the hundreds of different varieties and discover which you like best and want to grow.

There’s loads of apple-related fun – apple bobbing anyone? – and you can taste some of the delicious jams, chutneys, ciders and juices on offer. Many apple days also offer a juicing service, allowing you to bring along your windfalls for them to turn into delicious apple juice to take home.

Autumn is prime apple-planting time so if you’re thinking of expanding your home-grown orchard, drop in to the garden centre here in where we’ll be happy to help you pick out your tree. Here are the main categories you’ll come across:

  • Trained apples: Perfect for small spaces: choose from espaliers, cordons or Minarettes
  • Dessert apples: Sweet and best eaten fresh, these crop from August onwards
  • Cooking apples: Big, beefy apples too tart to eat raw but delicious baked with cinnamon
  • Dual purpose apples: Pick early for eating, or leave on the tree and enjoy as a cooker
  • Cider apples: Hard, sharp apples which brew up a cracking scrumpy