It is a pretty dismal day here in the Adelaide Hills, cold and overcast, but it is November, so come with me and we will take a turn around the orchard and see what the fruit trees are up to.
This is my Pierre de Ronsard, I was given two about twelve years ago, they are supposed to climb but they decided not to, most of the year they are just a green bush but every spring they burst into this magnificent blossom, aren’t they pretty? I planted them along the orchard fence.
The apricot trees are mad this year, this is a Storey, it is an early fruitier and just bowed down with fruit. We shall make some of my very special Intensely Apricotty Jam in the Cookie House together when they ripen.
This is a plumcott, they have a bit of a reputation as shy fruiters but this one has never had that problem, it is a hybrid, a cross between a plum and an apricot, I believe it is not as nice as either parent, but that may just be me.
I have four plum trees, they are all laden.
I have two peaches, this is an Anzac, a beautiful buttery peach.
The almond tree did have a lot more almonds on it, the cockies got them. Grrrr. If you have never had an almond, tree ripened fresh picked you do not know what heaven on the tastebuds is.
This is a funny little heirloom apple called a Sweetman. It is not. It is not a sweet man at all. I am going to try making cider out of it as it seems not to be a cooking or an eating apple. I have fourteen different varieties of apple tree, I plan to keep on collecting them as I go along.
This is an English Black Mulberry. These are the most delicious of berries, my friend and neighbour Mel has a tree that is over 100 years old! I will take you and show you it in summer, it is amazing.
Sometimes when I walk through my orchard I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz, but instead of saying, ‘Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!’ I find myself saying ‘Apples and Cherries and Pears, oh my!’ I had a pear grower once tell me you plant pear trees for your grandchildren, but mine didn’t listen, I have four, they are all ten years old and they all give me fruit.
Clever little cherry tree, hang on, look at the one next to it!
That is just showing off.
Speaking of showing off, this is a golden delicious, see all that fruit? Hang on, I will go closer.
Crazy tree! And its neighbours are just as bad.
One day my dearest wish is to run paddock to table classes here at the Cookie House, for people to be able to go into the orchard and pick a bowl of apples or peaches or apricots and then come into the Cookie House and learn how to make them into jam, or sauce, or pies, or streusel. One day.