Where it all began - The first year of fruit growing

Where it all began - The first year of fruit growing

Its been two years since we moved into our house and took on our small orchard and having previously always hated January and February I now have a wonderful nostalgic fondness for the miserable months because it really was the start of something new.

I was convinced that the fruit trees would end up not giving us any edible fruit.  Memories of a huge apple tree in the garden from when I was a child dropping what felt like thousands of apples each year but of course they were cooking apples and so were completely inedible.  

When the first plum tree started to fruit in late June 2021 I was so excited.  Picking the very first plum and taking a bite only to realise they are beyond delicious was incredible. Ecstatically telling my husband to try the plums.  Fast forward 2 weeks and we were eating about 12 plums a day each, giving away bowls and bowls of them to the neighbours, my parents, work colleagues, anyone who would take them and I started to realise that my original expectations were somewhat off. 

That first year at the peak I was picking 8KG's a day of plums, from one tree.....we have 6 plum trees. ...  Thankfully that first one to fruit is by far the most prolific and the others much more reasonable in their output.  Still having filled up all the fridge drawers, 2 of the fridge shelves, 3 of the freezer drawers and still having baskets of plums on the kitchen table I started to think I might need a better strategy.  At the rate of 12 plums a day I'm fairly sure both my husband and I would have started loosing 8kgs a day fairly soon! 

And so... my first ever batch of jam occurred.

As my cupboards started to fill with jars of jam and the plums started to subside of course the apples and pears started to ripen.  I had been watching again with delight at this miracle happening in the garden.....It still blows my mind as stupid as i sound that these trees in the garden just grow stuff that we can eat!  I mean why on earth does every household not have a fruit tree in the garden!  How is it possible I have never had one before now, think of all the money I've wasted in supermarkets on stuff I could get for free.....bonkers.

So back to the apples and pears, not quite as prolific as the plums with the exception of one apple tree which offers hundreds of small, bright red apples where the colour of the peel bleeds into the flesh giving it the prettiest of pink colours.  We have five apple trees in total, all different varieties which is so wonderful and after the same dilemma of not physically being able to eat or give away enough apples, I discovered that the variety of apples makes chutney and sauces even more interesting and thats how it all began.  Since then it has become more than just a way of reducing waste.  Its become a side hustle, a passion, a constantly journey of learning and so much more.

Happy growing 


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