Saturday, 11 September 2010

Nostalgia occasioned by fruit

Heritage Day, Apple Day: we were at Smallhythe Place in the byre with our plants. In the adjacent stall Charlotte and her friends were selling apples, nuts, pears and damsons grown in the venerable orchard once tended by the redoubtable Ellen Terry. Throughout the day, we heard a steady refrain from the fruit display: people all had medlars or Millers Seedlings “at home”, and recalled how grandfather could always guess the weight of the cake at the village fete. Despite the rush to modernity, we value traditional things and foods: this is good news for traditional farmers and growers.
We were pleased to sell one of our Dicentra macrocapnos plants, grown from seed this year. This is a hardy herbaceous climber, and we envisage that it will clamber up some suitable shrub or small tree in the garden. Along with other gardeners and plantspeople, we hadn’t seen anything quite like it-I’m becoming more interested in climbers generally, but can see the need to build more furniture for them. Cue desperate swearing.
A week ago we combined our wheat- a moderate crop, but the price is now more realistic. The grass is finally growing, and the cattle are finding more to eat, though we shall be selling the autumn calvers and the store cattle to eke out winter feed and bedding supplies.
Packing up after the day’s entertainments, I devoured a Worcester Pearmain and remembered my grandfather, who would have grown them early in the last century.

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