The Last of the Bramley Harvest with Little Stour Orchard

It's been almost a fortnight now since I last hung out at Little Stour Orchard, but these photographs were just begging to be shared so I thought I'd type up a quick post.

I've raved so much about the ethos at LSO, and the products that come out of the orchard; so today's post isn't for that purpose. This year however hasn't been the greatest, in terms of apple picking, and when I was invited over to the orchard to "relieve" Mickey and Sarah of their remaining Bramley crop, I naturally jumped at the chance.

Seb came along with me for the afternoon and whilst the ground was wet and squelchy, the Autumn Sun was absolutely divine, and fuelled with tea, fresh organic apple juice, and a slice of Sarah's fabulous chocolate and ginger cake (for Seb) we set off between the trees with a canvas bag ready to be filled. 

The Brambleys on the trees at Little Stour Orchard have a great pinky red blush, as a result of being allowed to mature on the branch. If you buy Bramleys in the supermarket they'll usually be a bright green colour; this is because they've been picked before they've fully ripened (which means they'll keep longer) and that's why you usually get that sharp tangy taste that makes them ideal for baking.
 These mature Bramley's however, whilst still considered a "cooking apple", are sweet enough to eat straight from the tree, and certainly don't need much, if any, sugar added during cooking.

It was lovely to see the sheep, property of Chandler & Dunn, our local butchers, roaming beneath the apple trees. They live in the orchard once the picking season has been and gone, keeping the grass and weeds at bay, as Little Stour Orchard use no pesticides or herbicides in the orchard. 

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