Our orchard this spring was a mass of flower, every single tree flowered and set fruit, it was a sight to behold. However this meant days and days of hand fruit thinning to ease the burden on each of the young trees. This autumn the trees looked beautiful as they stood laden with brightly coloured fruit, branches bowing under the weight.
The trees are new cider apple varieties that ripen about a month earlier than traditional cider varieties. We checked ripeness using the standard iodine test where iodine reacts with any starch in the fruit turning it black or if the fruit is ripe (starch converted to sugars) the iodine does not change colour. The orchard was harvested last week producing 4650 kilos, our first serious harvest!