Friday 15 September 2006

Pears and Walnuts

The pears are nearly all ripe now. We have eating and perry pears, the eating pears are mostly behind the cider making house and the perry pears distributed around the grounds. The big perry tree has crisp, juicy clean growing pears, russetted and reddened with the sun. The other perry pears are small, hard pears of the wild type except for one on the wall of the cider house which is almost apple shaped, heavily russetted and with a long stalk. Research suggests this is a very ancient type of pear. Certainly I have never seen a pear like it.

I’ve picked about 20kg of the fruit from the big tree today. When Paul comes next week we will have a trial run with cleaning, mashing and pressing as best we can to extract enough juice for a gallon or so. I’ll pick some more before he comes but the ground is uneven and the ladder wobbles alarmingly so I’m reluctant to go too high on my own.

The eating pears are in a sorry state, all the trees have been badly neglected but the smallest most beaten up specimen which has produced ugly, small black spotted fruit is a pear of delicious flavour and texture, ready now in mid September. The largest tree has larger fruit, still green and badly spotted but not quite ready yet. They will be nicely flavoured if not as good as the earlier pears. Of two other trees, espalier trained along a wall and almost unreachable through the nettles and long grass, one is still vigorous with large crisp red flushed fruits and the other is nearly dead with small misshapen fruits that may not be much use for identification because they are so stunted. The last tree is clearly diseased and will probably have to be destroyed before it affects the others.

While stomping through the long grass to get to the dessert pears I found three small walnut trees, probably seedlings from last year or the year before. I must transplant them somewhere where they are less likely to be mown to death before they can make decent sized trees. Someone in the future will value the wood even if the nuts never come to much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Which one is the tree I camped under?