Janice has provided an update on what’s been happening at the Tayport Fruit Tree Walk in August:
The currants, gooseberries and wild strawbs have now finished their fruitful summer and have done us proud this year, despite a very long dry spell in spring. Perhaps the gooseberries were a bit small, or maybe I was too late to get the best ones! It’s wonderful to see the fruit being picked, eaten and appreciated by so many different people.
Marian’s managed to preserve the sweet berry memories of the summer in her Maid Mairan jams and jellies – there are still lots available and you can order them at the garden produce stall.
It’s now time for the apples to come to the fore. They will be ready to harvest soon, from September through to December, depending on variety. To test if an apple is ready, take the apple in your hand, supporting the tree where it attaches and twist the apple. If it comes off in your hand easily it’s ready. If not, best leave it there to ripen.
Some of the varieties will store for several months, usually the later varieties. Windfalls can also be used if eaten right away. You can find each tree’s variety name on orchard maps on FTW page – and there are around 30 of them!
To maximise fruiting, and keep the apple trees in good shape, it is advisable to do summer pruning, or spur pruning. We will be doing this next Tuesday 8th September, meeting at 10:30 am at the small playpark at Garvie Brae. All welcome, you can just turn up. Bring secateurs if you have them.
At the bottom of the Scotscraig Drive we will soon be scything the long grass under the apple trees. We will also and sow yellow rattle – a very useful meadow plant which is semi parasitic, feeding off the roots of nearby grasses. This in turn makes the grass less dense, allowing other more delicate wildflowers to thrive. Watch this space!
A small group of volunteers maintains the fruit tree walk, with meetings organised through a WhatsApp group. If you would like to join in, message Ali at the community garden in the first instance (firstname.lastname@example.org), or come along and say hello if you see us.