Monday, August 26, 2013

The beauty of old orchards...


I had forgotten how lovely orchards are at this time of year. All dappled sunlight and boughs heavy with fruit. We have never found pick your own farms in any other country we've lived in except the UK, and it is a joy to be back in Sussex to be able to visit them once again. 

Pick your own is such a simple, cheap entertainment to fill an hour on a bank holiday, and whilst everywhere else along the coast was packed with people, we only saw one other family at the farm we visited.

Theo, like most children his age, can't get enough of fruit, so was happy to accept the invitation to "try before you buy" sampling the different varieties of plums and apples like a connoisseur. We bagged about 4lbs of plums and got back in the car to hear Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi playing on the radio. 

"They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone.."

It was strangely apt because we're currently fighting to keep a 200 year-old orchard that's just yards from our house. I hope these places are still around when Theo grows up...

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  1. Oh to have a pyo that does plums around here. We only have the soft fruit kind. Although nearby Waterperry Gardens often sells plums from their orchard in the shop. I've been known to start on a bag on the way to the car and then sit eating: just one more, before I drive home!

  2. We pick apples and pears every fall. I love that part of the season. Plus you can get a few of each kind rather than being wedded to just MacIntosh. In Nova Scotia we have the BEST pie and crisp apples - Gravenstein. They are really local - I never see them anywhere else in Canada. We also used to pick strawberries. When I was hopelessly domestic I took my 6 yo, 3 yo and baby into the strawberry field to pick. The three year old ate so many berries that she was pure red and I volunteered to pay for an extra basket! I also realized after I had 12 quarts that I had a big problem - carrying out the 12 boxes plus the baby...

  3. One of my favourite memories from childhood is pyo! I was hoping to take my 5yo this year but didn't get a dry day when someone could look after the baby for us:-( Not seen pyo orchards before though - lucky you!

  4. What gorgeous photos!!!!!
    I've never been to a PYO orchard before but used to go strawberry picking every year as a child. It's not a pleasure I've introduced me two to yet - but as Ben doesn't actually like strawberries I'm not sure he'd be that impressed ;)
    Colette x

  5. We have PYO in Australia, mainly strawberries.


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