Bloomin' good blossom evening
This year the apple blossom was the earliest for at least 10 years - in full bloom on April 30th - so we celebrated in the accustomed style with tea, cake, soup, cider and apple juice.
There are few sights better than an orchard of apple trees in blossom on a beautiful spring day. To celebrate this, we held a "blossom evening" at Mosser on Tuesday April 30th. About 18 members turned up at fairly short notice. This is the earliest we have ever known the blossom! The weather was difficult to forecast, but turned out dry and calm and we kept the chill at bay by burning prunings on the brazier. The orchard has over 100 trees of over 40 varieties, so there was plenty to see and talk about.
The event was mainly a social occasion, but with some added extras:
- Discussion of orchard management - the orchard floor has been sown with yellow rattle to suppress the grass, then with a wildflower mix, and is mown with an Austrian scythe annually.
- Debate as to the merits of different varieties (40+ planted) in dealing with the Cumbrian climate. There was general agreement that russet apples are greatly under-appreciated and generally not found for sale (except for Egremont Russet). Everyone admired the blossom on the Belle de Boskoop - one of the finest flavoured multi-purpose russet apples.
- A little "competition" for the best/most interesting "apple product" that was won by some very nice apple cake.
- Tasting of the NCOG cider, which was coming along nicely.
Soup, bread, tea/coffee, cider, cakes and apple juice, good conversation and company were enjoyed by all.
Many thanks to Thalia Sparke for some of the pictures (as well as the "very nice apple cake").