Thomas Tusser, on Gathering Fruit Not Too Timely

The Moone in the wane, gather fruit for to last,
but winter fruit gather when Mihel is past :
Though michers that love not to buy nor to crane,
makes some gather sooner, else few for to have.

Fruit gathred too timely wil taste of the wood,
wil shrink and be bitter, and seldome proove good
So fruit that is shaken, or beat off a tree,
with brusing in falling, soone faultie wil bee.

Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie (1557-1580)

Thank you Thomas for your contribution to this morning’s briefing.

Right everyone, that’s all perfectly clear? Good, off you go.

Sorry, what’s that? A translation? Well, if you really need one: pick fruit you want to store when the moon is past full but not yet new, pick late fruit after Michaelmas (which was yesterday, September 29th, obviously), don’t be a miser and pick fruit early so you can try to hoard it, because it won’t taste sweet and won’t store well, and don’t be lazy and shake the tree or try to hit the fruit off the tree with a big stick (yes, “big stick Dave”, I’m looking at you, and we all know why…) because then it’ll be bruised and will spoil.

Right then, let’s get to it!

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