The apple season is underway, so last week we headed out to the orchard to have a look at the apples that will end up in our drinks.
Here's a picture of our Rowena, Fliss and Catherine in the orchard. (We seem to have caught Fliss in the middle of tasting an apple, sorry.)
We were there to taste the apples and find out how this year's harvest is looking. Highlights of our trip included riding on tractors around the orchard, and of course tasting the apples straight from the trees. Lowlights included the compulsory dungarees.
We saw how after every seven apple trees there's a gap, where a berry bush has been planted - that's for the birds, so they don't go hungry in the winter.
We saw for ourselves how the trees are fed, watered, drained, pruned and harvested, and chatted about various philosophies on growing apples. We especially liked learning about the school of thought that says that apple trees should be planted among wildflowers, which helps draw the nitrogen into the soil, and is great for bees, who pollenate the apple trees. It's part of a holistic approach, looking at the orchard as a whole ecosystem, which increasing numbers of growers are adopting. Makes a lot of sense.
There will be further trips out to see and taste the apples and learn more later in the season, but in the meantime we’re very happy with the way the apples are tasting this year.