It’s that time of year again, harvest time, ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ et al when I feel the overwhelming need to preserve stuff, making chutneys and pickles and freezing and bottling fruit and veg like a mad woman before the bountiful produce becomes compost. I love the seasons, each one for its own delights and even though we are no longer farming where season changes completely changed our work patterns, I have a rhythm within me which alters as the seasons come and go.
This weekend I popped in to Trelissick Gardens near Truro, to sample their Apple Weekend. The car park was full to overflowing which is testament to the popularity of these events so close to the city of Truro with easy access for families.
Trelissick has an ancient apple orchard in the gardens. Fruit production was an important part of the history of the Trelissick estate and in the 19th century the walled garden became known as the ‘fruit garden of Cornwall’. There are many varieties of old Cornish apples here, some original but many planted by the NT in the 1990’s when many old varieties were disappearing, so this orchard now provides an important gene pool, having over 70 varieties of Cornish Apple as well as the famous Kea plums, quinces and medlars.
An Apple trail led children to the orchard where there were demonstrations of ancient wood turning skills, archery, outdoor games and even fruit tree pruning and grafting sessions for the keen gardening types. Two types of Apple press were being demonstrated, an ancient screw press, with free samples of the delicious juice and a smaller press where you could get hands on experience of squeezing out the juice by yourself.
The Stable yard housed a lovely display of different varieties of apples, Gould’s cider was selling their delicious home brew and a viewing hive with Cornish black bees were on hand to remind us of the important role bees play in fruit production worldwide.
I do admire the National Trust as they strive to connect us with the history of the properties they manage, reminding us of our forebears and their link with the land and the many skills they had before the onset of modern machinery and electricity rendered them unnecessary. In recent years I am pleased to see that they have been much better at bringing that history alive for children, ensuring an engagement and desire to protect NT properties and land for generations to come.
Discover more events at Trelissick at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trelissick
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