Lovely red apples, good enough for Red Riding Hood’s basket, good enough for the queen with the mirror on the wall. Gorgeous red apples, crisp and juicy with a delicate pinkish tinge to the flesh. Discovery they are called and they have been a real discovery for our small orchard at Trigonos where other varieties have failed to flourish this year.
The prevailing winds in the Nantlle valley come from the South West and ride in from the Irish sea and the further Atlantic laden with wetness and warmth during the growing season. This year we have experienced many days when within the space of an hour or two the climate has somersaulted from misty, muggy and warm to windy, cold and wet, over and over again. Fungal spores relish this kind of climate that in relation to potatoes is commonly known as blight weather.
Canker spores affect the bark and spring growth of several trees, mainly ash and apple, causing die-back, damage and eventually, over the years, loss of limbs. The spores of scab-as it’s name suggests cause dark scabby patches on the leaves and fruit of apple trees, the leaves tend to fall prematurely, weakening the tree, but fortunately the fruit is only blemished skin deep, the flesh is not affected.
A few years ago we planted several varieties of “vintage” Welsh apple trees, “Bardsey” being the most well known. Being native to Wales we are hopeful that they too will perform well in this sort of situation.
Meanwhile our red “Discoveries” are probably not good enough for the supermarket shelf and are maybe a bit unappealing in the fruit bowl, but once you have overcome the sight of a few black spots on the skin and have savoured the wonderful flavour, I think you will agree that yes, it is good enough for me!
Judy September 2017