Is it scrumping if it’s your orchard?

Because technically scrumping is stealing fruit – particularly apples from an orchard.  But not one to be hung up on a technicality, we went scrumping – in our orchard.

Scrumping it is...
Scrumping it is…

Now the thing about our orchard is I planted it at the far end of our property so we would have a reason to go to the outer reaches of our land.  Otherwise you just find yourself dwelling amongst the buildings and the point of having three acres of land becomes lost.  The orchard isn’t that far away from the rest of the garden.  According to Google Earth it is about 130 metres, because I went there and measured it.  Which is much easier to do from the comfort of my computer than measuring it out in real life.  The image currently held by Google Earth has been updated again and is as recent as pre-spring last year.  I love hunting around the picture for clues to tell you when the image was captured.  There is probably a menu somewhere that tells you the date, but I wouldn’t know where to look!

Our little slice of paradise.  Thank you Google Earth.
Our little slice of paradise. Thank you Google Earth.

130 metres isn’t really that far, even when you are climbing over long grass and squishing through soggy soil.  But as we were gathering what we hoped would be a multitude of apples, we took the car!  I say ‘we’ as I managed to enthuse Hubby the Un-Gardener to join me on this project as promised him we would turn all the windfall apples into cider!

I think they enjoyed their scrumping trip
I think they enjoyed their scrumping trip

We rounded up the kids and said “get in the car – we’re off.”  They were a little puzzled to begin with…  “but where are we going?” they asked quizzically, to which I replied “we’re going scrumping!”  This didn’t help them at all.  But we made the short trip to the orchard in no time, although Hubby the Un-Gardener popped the gears in to 4 wheel drive as it had been raining quite a bit and it wouldn’t be such a jolly jaunt if we got the car stuck in the middle of the field!

Due to the recent storms – the one that really didn’t need to be called a storm and the recent one that completely took us all by surprize, had knocked quite a few apples from the trees.  I had just recently learnt that you shouldn’t store windfall apples as they don’t keep as well.  So I left all the apples still attached to the tree where they were with the promise of coming back and picking them once I had somewhere suitable to store them and we scurried about the ground picking up all that lay beneath the trees.

Nothing like a bit of slave labour - I mean willing helpers
Nothing like a bit of slave labour – I mean willing helpers

We soon had a large basket filled with big fat cooking apples, bright green Granny Smiths, some red eating apples that I can’t remember the name of, but I have a tag for it somewhere, and some Golden Delicious.  This should make a good blend for the cider.  The sharpness of the cookers against the sweetness of the eaters. We could hardly wait.  Our bounty was loaded into the car and we set off for home!

There wasn't too much coddling moth damage!  Next time I must remember to use the pheromone in the traps!
There wasn’t too much coddling moth damage! Next time I must remember to use the pheromone in the traps!

Once we got back to the house we set about washing the apples and cutting out the bogey bits.  Optimistically we chopped them up into large chunks and set about trying to crush them in my crusher.  Apples are a lot stronger than they look and they put up a lot of resistance and barely gave us a drop of juice.  This could not go on if we wanted more than a thimble full of cider for our efforts, Something had to change.  I whipped out my food processor and gave all our chunks of apple a good smooshing first and then we loaded them back into the crusher.  This was a much better plan and soon a lovely golden juice began to flow.  We managed to extract a good 6 litres that is now bubbling away in a quiet corner turning from humble juice to something way more potent.  We shall know just how potent in 6 weeks – all going well!

While the juice tastes nice now... in 6 weeks it will be scrumptious!
While the juice tastes nice now… in 6 weeks it will be scrumptious!

Come again soon – while still without a kitchen, I will have to get resourceful with processing my chillies that are coming in thick and fast!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

26 thoughts on “Is it scrumping if it’s your orchard?

    1. Hi Brigid. The resulting cider is bubbling away in the corner! Hopefully it will be a fabulous drink when it is finished. The trouble is, you have to wait so long!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Elaine. Oh and even the alliteration: we went scrumping for scrumptious apples to make a scrumpy cider! English has the best obscure words!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  1. Apples are a fav of mine. Haven’t tried to make cider tho. Looks very yummy! Regarding Google Earth history, there is a button on the top ribbon that looks like a sun with an arrow in it, it is the history tab. Click on it and it will tell/show you all the dates it flew over and took a photo. 😃

    1. Hi There. Thank you so much for the tip on Google Earth. I have had a good poke about and I’m really amazed at all the changes that have happened to our place over the years. It is really quite cool!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Jimmy. I’m hoping to get a fine drop to drink, but having said that if it all goes horribly wrong and we get vinegar, then all is not lost – I’m sure I’ll be able to find a use for that too!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Oh, you are so lucky to have 3 acres!!!! I have been thinking of making pear cider and great minds think alike Sarah – having no press I was think of the most wonderful of tools, the food processor 🙂

    1. Hi Wendy. We are truly blessed to have so much space and it is great for the kids too.
      I love my food processor. I broke my old one – dropped the bowl on the tiled floor (one of the things that won’t be back in my new kitchen- tiled floors that is. So unforgiving when you drop something) and we went out the next day to replace it. I couldn’t even go one day!
      All the best with your pear cider. I once made some once that had a lovely light fizz (was supposed to be a still kind) and it had the most amazing flavour. I don’t know what I did!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. HI Virginia. I have now figured out how you can go back and look at the older images and it is amazing how much our place has changed! One thing that is particularly obvious is the ever expanding veggie patch. I try to be subtle when I extend so Hubby the Un-Gardener won’t notice, but if they are going to broadcast it from space – well I guess the cat is out of the bag!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Too funny! Our previous images were very grainy. The street view images were taken a couple of years ago because our greenhouse isn’t up yet. But they did it over a day or so. As you click along a truck appears, disappears, then there is a downed tree limb before it’s reattached!

  3. What a fun family adventure. I loved seeing your property from Google Earth. I must try that. We look at the street view every now and again.

    I can’t wait to hear about the strong cider. Thanks for sharing your apple orchard with us.

    1. Hi Alys,
      Once the kids realised the adventure was thinly veiled as picking up apples their enthusiasm waned a little.

      I would be nice if Google gave a us ring and let us know they were going to take a photo from space so we could tidy up a little bit first, It’s like you have been caught aware! A friend of mine is mowing her lawn in the street view picture!

      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Sarah, I can appreciate that. Good try, though.

        Yes, it would be nice if we got a quick call from Google. I’ve heard of embarrassing scenarios over the years. It is a bit disconcerting seeing your own house on the internet for all to see.

  4. The coddling moth adds to the piquancy of the cider ;). Technically you WOULD be scrumping on your own land if you had a family of huge fat possums that had laid claim to your apples but apparently they haven’t found yours yet and aside from a few blackbird (or whatever you have that constitutes for feathered pest there) pecks they look pretty darned good for windfalls to me!

    Cheers for the heads up about the apples. If I give it a go I am going to throw them into the vitamix and puree the living daylights out of them (coddling moths and all!). Just got to the bit about the food processor, great minds think alike ;). Sorry I am so late to the party by the way, I only got to “S” in my RSS Feed Reader today…a few weeks late but better late than never (unless you have finished all of that cider!) 😉

    1. Hi Fran. One of the beauties of being smack bang in the middle of dairy country is the nearest stand of trees is too far for possums to come and visit my orchard.
      I need to check the cider as it was making a fabulous galooping sound through the airlock, and now has seemed to stop, so it maybe finished… If the next response to a comment doesn’t make any sense at all – you could take it as the cider is ready and very good! Here’s hoping.
      (This coment is also a little late!)
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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