Now is the time to celebrate English apples. The season’s crop is in full swing so you’ve every reason to buy British – and more importantly now is your chance to try some of the less well-known cultivars, but no less tasty, growing in orchards around the country – many unique to their location.
There’s a whole host of events taking place that give you the opportunity to join the season’s celebrations. Here’s a selection
A good place to start is with Common Ground, the charity set up to celebrate local distinctiveness in its many guises, including a celebration of local apples and orchards on Apple Day - 21st October. You’ll find lots of information about the day and ideas on ways to celebrate the occasion.
Other events to look out for:
The National Trust is hosting a number of events at properties all over the country including Fenton House’s Apple Weekend, 24-25 September, 11am-4.30pm. Just a couple of minutes walk from Hampstead Underground and surrounded by almost 2 acres of walled garden, Fenton House includes a 300 year-old orchard full of rare apple cultivars. Sample apples, juices and ciders, watch a bee-keeping demonstration, learn how to identify apple varieties.
For other National Trust apple events go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk and type ‘apple’ into the search field.
Join the Apple Affair at West Dean Gardens on 1 & 2 October, 10.30am – 5pm, £8
Over 150 apples on display, apple tastings, demonstrations, The Big Draw competition and apple games.
RHS garden Rosemoor in Devon hosts a special Apple Day 9 October, 2-4pm, in conjunction with Orchards Live, Thornhayes Nursery and the RHS South West Area Fruit Group who hope to identify your unknown apple trees, along with plenty of other apple-related activities.
Tree expert, Kevin Croucher, will be giving his own special apple talk, tastings and planting advice at his nursery Thornhayes, 13 October, 2-4pm (arrive 1.30pm for refreshments). Booking essential Cost £12.
More than 400 varieties of apple on display at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, on October 15-16. The Garden is open from 10am until 4.30pm on both days. Last entry, 3.30pm.
The National Fruit Collection at Brogdale is holding an Apple Festival at Brogdale 22-23 October. There’ll be some 500 varieties on display, many of which you can taste.
All the RHS gardens are hosting A Taste of Autumn weekend 22-23 October (plus some extra days for Wisley). There will be apples to taste, advise on apple growing from the experts, fruit juices and ciders to enjoy, plus lots more autumn harvest celebration.
Wisley, Surrey - 20-23 October.
Harlow Carr, Yorkshire - 22-23 October
Hyde Hall, Essex – 22-23 October
Rosemoor, Devon – 22-23 October