What’s on

Thu 1 Oct 2020: FREE Apples & garden produce available at The Cornerstone (instead of the Big Apple Take-Aways)

This event is in the past.

With the rules about social distancing the normal Big Apple Take-Aways are just not possible, BUT THE GOOD NEWS is that freshly picked apples and other fruit and spare garden produce will be available everyday at The Cornerstone at The Corner House.  This means we're not at risk from rain and the FREE FRUIT will be available to EVERYONE as soon as it's been picked and it will be accessible without the crowds! This year is a bumper crop of apples and during the season we expect to have over 50 varieties of apple, also plums, grapes, and pears.

The amount of fruit available at any one time will increase through the season. Today  we have several varieties of cooking apples - KESWICK CODLIN, the dual purpose GRAVENSTEIN and CHARLES ROSS, lots of picked BRAMLEY SEEDLING, and the first of the BLENHEIM ORANGE (photo on the tree) which are lovely to eat as well as cook. There is a box of various windfalls - both dessert and cookers which are suitable for cooking straight away - good to mix both to get texture from the dessert apples and also use less sugar. As for dessert apples, we now have quite a few including ELLISON'S ORANGE and several apples from local trees that I've not been able to identify.

We will also have a steady supply of different sorts of PEAR. this week we will be having more LE BRUN from a very tall old tree growing near the Playing Close. Remember, pears are normally picked when the stalk snaps off when lifted - the pears are still hard and keep them in the cool, just taking a few out into room temperature at a time to ripen for eating, so please wait before eating them.

The posters in the window display what produce is available inside - lots of garden produce has been brought down, including courgettes, tomatoes, onions, chard, french beans, runner beans, potatoes, salad leaves, cucumbers and onions.

If you have any spare fruit and veg please take it along to The Cornerstone throughout the year for other people to be able to enjoy it. If you have a PLUM TREE and more plums than you can use yourself then please contact us.

The Cornerstone is now open 10am-1pm from Monday to Saturday, if you can't make it down there then please contact Christine to make other arrangements - sharecroppers@charlburygreeenhub.org.uk or 01608-811057.

QUINCE seem to be falling early this year and there are some already available. MEDLARS will be ripe in late October. Wonderful QUINCES can be used to make QUINCE JAM and just one can add fragrance to your pot of cooking apples - lots of OTHER QUINCE RECIPES. MEDLARS need bletting before making MEDLAR JELLY OR CHUTNEY.

If you have spare apples (or grapes, plums, pears, quinces and medlars) for picking and you'd like them to be given away free throughout the autumn, please contact sharecroppers@charlburygreeenhub.org.uk or 01608-811057 - we pick fruit from within an 8 mile radius from Charlbury. Enormous thanks to everyone who offers their surplus fruit for picking and redistribution every year rather than see it wasted - we couldn't do this without your generosity.

In 2017, Charlbury Sharecroppers' received the OCVA Environmental Award from the Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action organisation at Oxford Town Hall. This is county-wide recognition that what we are doing in Charlbury is a really good model for other communities to follow.

2020 is Charlbury Sharecroppers' 13th year - last year we redistributed about 2 tonnes of apples, do you remember your favourite varieties and when they were available? The fruit is given away FREE and you can take it for eating fresh, cooking, or storing.

When to eat apples and pears?

Early season apples don't store well fresh and need eating or cooking straight away but varieties that ripen in October will store for several weeks or even months, keep them in the salad draw in your fridge or in a cold garage - perforated plastic bags are good to stop russets shrivelling. Pears need to be stored in fridge and brought out a few at a time to room temperature for a few days until they are soft enough to eat - test by pressing the neck or if gentle pressure of thumb nail goes through the skin - then they will be divine - an unripe crunchy pear is such a wasted opportunity!

Christine Elliott · Link

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