So what is with all the wasps? I know its the time of year but this year there seems to be an exceptional amount of them, they’re everywhere and is it just me or do they seem to be very aggressive little devils! One of things that is really enticing them is the fruit from our trees so I’m trying to pick them super quick to ensure that they are kept to a minimum and to be honest picking the fruit as soon as it is ripe is always a good idea as any fruit that drops is the very worst thing for attracting vermin to our garden so do pick up any fallen fruit.

This year we have had a great crop of fruit and once again its trying to use all the fruits, we’ve plums, apples and pears ready and the figs look like they are ripening nicely. We keep a wide variety of apple trees, three pear varieties and 2 plum. We only keep the one fig but it is a good one for our climate. We also have some more mature fruit trees so that they are producing well already and will fit right into an orchard planting scheme well.

Don’t be tempted to prune your fruit trees in the Autumn, leave that until the early Spring the end of February is best for that. Leave any fertilising until at least then too as a guide for that Patrick Day is best. That goes for most things, hedges, trees and evergreens.

So how am I going to use all this fruit ? I’ve always loved Clodagh McKenna’s Christmas Chutney, it keeps unto 6 months nicely so you can give it as gifts to friends & family or even teachers

Here is the recipe
pat of butter
2 onions sliced
2 1/4lb apples (a variety suitable for cooking, peeled, cored and diced)
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
10 whole cloves
1 tbsp. chilli powder
3/4inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. turmeric powder

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the onions and apples.  Stir well, cover and let cook for five minutes.

Stir in the sugar, cloves, chilli powder, fresh ginger, cider vinegar, salt and pepper and turmeric powder.  Mix well.  Cover the saucepan and let simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid, turn down the heat to low, and let cook for a further 30 minutes or until the apple has broken down and the chutney has turned a rich golden brown colour.  Remove from the heat and let cool before putting in sterilised jars.

She also has a fantastic recipe for Lemoncello if you come to find yourself with a glut of lemons! As they saying goes if life gives you lemons ……



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