Gardening with Children

Family Zone

This October celebrate the British Apple.

Date Posted: 01 October 2016

 
In Britain we grow more apples commercially and in the garden than any other fruit, there are four main types of apple: Cider Apple, Crab Apple, Dessert Apple (eating) and Culinary Apple (cooking) making us truly a nation of apple lovers, but do we really make the most of them.
 

Have some fun

Apple dunking is great fun, all you need is a bucket of water, some smallish eating apples, willing and enthusiastic children/adults and a towel, this is a firm favourite at Halloween Parties. Children love to get wet and if they manage to bite the apples then it is a bonus. Did you know that apples contain 25% air, that’s why they float.
 
Why not have a competition to see who can get the longest apple peel from a single apple, for the adults it has to be one piece for the children it can be sereral pieces combined.
The record for the longest unbroken apple peel was set on the 16th October, 1976 by Kathy Wafler Madison, aged 16, from New York, USA, she carefully peeled a 567g apple for 11 hours and 30 minutes, the peel measured 52 metres 52cm long.
 
Apple Peel
 

Bake

Apples are very versatile in the kitchen they are ideal for pressing and preserving and can be made into jams, jellies, chutneys, crumbles, cakes, juice etc but don't forget the traditional apple pie, so in honour of Bramley Apple Pie Week 3rd – 9th October here’s a recipe for you to try.
 
Traditional Bramley Apple Pie
 
Pastry
  • 500g ready prepared shortcrust pastry
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Dusting of plain flour for rolling
Filling
  • 800g Bramley apples (approx.), peeled cored and thinly sliced
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp plain flour
Method
  1. On a floured surface roll out two thirds of the pastry and use to line a greased 23cm (9”) pie tin, roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and set aside.
  2. In a dish mix the prepared apples with the caster sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.
  3. Place the apple mixture into the lined tin.
  4. Brush the edge of the pastry base with milk and lay the lid on top.
  5. Press the edges together and trim with a knife.
  6. Make some pastry leaves out of the spare pastry to decorate the top.
  7. Brush with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar, make a couple of slits in the top.
  8. Bake at 190C/Gas mark 5 for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples are soft.
Serve wth cream, custard or ice cream.
 
If you have a sweet tooth why not try 'Toffee' Apple Pie, a firm favourite and perfect for a Halloween or Bonfire Night Party click here for the recipe.
 

Pick and Store

To tell if apples are ready for picking gently cup the apple in your hand, lift the apple up and twist gently if it comes away with its stalk intact it is ready, don’t force the apples as you may bring the fruit spurs off as well, take care not to bruise or damage any that you intend to store. Pick apples by late October before strong winds and hard frosts damage them. Make sure you have the right equipment to make harvesting easier and safer; a good pair of ladders, an Apple Wizard to collect the windfalls, a Quicker Apple Picker for the hard to reach apples and some Bostrugs or even a Wheelbarrow to carry your fruit. To store your undamaged apples lay them out on an Apple Rack/Fruit Store or in wooden storage boxes, make sure that they are not touching each other, and put in a dark, airy, frost-free place, such as a garage or cellar, at about 4C (39F). Check your apples regularly and remove any bad ones.
 Fruit and Vegetable Store

Visit

October 21st is World Apple Day and there are lots of events organized around the country to celebrate the apple. At many of these events you can: taste locally grown apples, have a look at apple orchards, choose and buy apple trees, talk to the growers, bring with you one of your unknown varieties of apple for the experts to identify, watch cookery demonstrations using apples and taste the results, buy apple produce (jams, jellies, chutneys, cakes, pies etc.), cooking equipment and more, they make a great day out for all the family.
 

Grow

Apple Trees come in all shapes and sizes, there is room for one in every garden. Now is the ideal time to plant a tree either bare rooted or container grown as the soil is warm. Taste different varieties of British grown apples first to see which ones you like, they should be widely available in the shops at the moment. For more information have a look at our Blog how to plant apple trees.
 
 
Tubby Stack Pack Wooden Storage Boxes
 

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