Let’s Go Outside: 98…99…100 trees

19 Apr

My enthusiasm for tree planting, chicken keeping and vegetable growing has taken me by surprise. We haven’t even been in our new house a year yet but I am fast becoming a fan of growing my own and thinking ahead to a time when I can make delicious meals in the kitchen made from my very own fruit trees. I know it is going to be a few years yet until I have fruit on my trees but I’m looking forward to making jams, chutneys, crumbles, pies and so on.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and River Cottage has been going for some time now but, to my shame, I have never really taken much notice until recently. I’ve been watching Hugh on the Good Food channel in the last week (as I collapse in front of the TV after a very active day planting trees) and have already made his pizza dough – so easy and so delicious – plus followed his tips for breaded chicken (so simple and so much cheaper than buying ready prepared breaded chicken from the supermarket – the children love it). I also bought the River Cottage Handbook no. 9 by Mark Diacono which is all about Fruit. In this Hugh has written the introduction. He mentions he has the apple trees ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’, ‘Blenheim Orange’, and ‘Lord Lambourne’ in the garden – so I got those too. He also mentions how delicious a “‘perfectly ripe ‘Doyenne du Comice’ pear” is, so, when I started researching pear trees, that was my starting variety. After all in the maze of fruit trees it is useful to have a starting point. I needed another variety to partner it and pollinate it, so decided on ‘Williams Bon Chretien’ which is great for fresh eating and stewing. Then, finally, I decided on a damson, a self-fertile variety called ‘Langley Bullace Damson’. (Actually I didn’t decide – it was the only one available in the rootstock I wanted from Ashridge Trees nursery. But that’s fine. The decision was made for me!)

So the two pears and the damson were the final trees we put in. Numbers 98, 99 and 100.

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