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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us


>..Taking control


...Classes of tree

...Christmas trees

...Woodland - Planting

... - Preserving

... - Established

... - Dedicated

...By products - firewood

... - Other

A few apple trees at the end of a garden will, in a good year, produce more apples than you can count.

We have just had such a glut year. The country lanes have been full of fallen-down boxes outside neat cottage gates. The waterlogged sign on the heap of apples it once contained tells its own tale of plenty 'apples for free: please take'. But in such a year of glut hardly anybody does. Our trees have produced mountains of apples and we have had a very hard struggle to keep up with them.

We have produced tons of jelly and gallons of cider and wine. The jelly is now mostly sold and the cider and wine are maturing nicely. These are after all traditional products from the orchard. As are the sheep we fattened. They grazed on the windfalls and were fat by late September. We brought pailfuls of windfalls to the pigs and the chickens have scampered about they like the apple seeds.

There were times when the sheep were clearly overfaced with plenty. They started taking tiny bites from one apple before passing on to the next; the season slowed up though and they went back and cleared the hitherto neglected ones. Apple chutney, with added redcurrants left from jelly-making, was also produced in quantity. Next year there may well be a bad season and we will long for some of this year's crop. The few boxes of cookers that we have stored should last our own consumption for most of the winter. We did in fact try to sell some really beautiful cookers early in the season only to be told that there was no market at all. That is the whole story of country enterprise if you cannot sell it as it is, convert it into something that does sell.