- The Forme of Cury, on Making Comadore
Anyone for a 14th century recipe for what sounds distinctly like a fried, fruit-filled doughnut?
- Thomas Dawson, on Making Apple Pescods
Fried fruity things, with apples, figs, dates, currants and spices? What’s not to like?
- Au Revoir to Pear, Plum and Damson Blossom?
Two nights of bad weather after early blossom has bloomed is bad news, but hopefully not the end of this year’s crop.
- On Winter-Proofing Apples, 1820s style
When winter came in 19th century America, it was out with the thin linen cloths to protect the fruit still on the trees.
- Elizabeth Clelland, on Making Quiddany of Pipins
16th and 17th century jam-making recipe, anyone? No jars back then though, so you’ll have to store it in boxes…
- Anon, on Making Applemoyse
This anonymously-authored 16th century apple dessert recipe could be a good one for anyone with a butter surplus to shift.
- Theodore Francis Garrett on Making Apple Bavaroise
Anyone for an apple Bavarian cream? Time to dust off your old bunny mould and whip up a boozy Victorian dessert in time for Easter.
- Frost Warning! Bad News for Blossom
It’s every orchardist’s worse-case scenario: a sharp frost forecast just as the blossom is starting to open…
- Ads of Yore: Hardie Orchard Equipment
As this 1915 ad shows, when it comes to useful orchard equipment, some ideas and designs never go out of date.
- John Mollard, on Making Pippins With Rice
Here’s another sweet-sounding baked apple dessert, this time from the early 19th century.
- ‘A Lady’, on Making Paste of Plumbs
The anonymous author of this 18th century tract takes time our from moralising to make something jammy.
- Eliza Acton, on Making Essex Pudding
This 19th century recipe is billed as Cheap and Good, and with just four ingredients it should be easy enough to make.
- The Austin Manuscripts, on Apple Muse and Apple Moyle
Two 15th century recipes today, both for sweet, colourful, apple and bread / rice potages of some sort.
- Fujiwara no Teika, on Spring
- A. W. on Making Apple Pomages
Here’s a 16th century recipe for a sweet, spice, apple and bread sauce (or dessert?) that sounds rather intriguing.
- John Murrell, on Making Apple Pufs
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for the sort of fried apple sweetmeat enjoyed in the early 17th century.
- Arnold’s Chronicle on Greffing Family Trees
Another 16th century mention for multiple-variety fruit tree grafting suggests it was quite a common practice for the time.
- Brossard (Mascall), on Graffyng Family Trees
As this 16th century quotation shows, the concept of the multi-variety ‘family’ fruit tree is not a new one.
- John Gerard (and Others), on the Vertues of Apples
Hot stomake? Pissing in drops? Dry skin? Gonnhorrhaea? Smallpox scars? John Gerard has a remedy for that, and it’s cheaper than you might think…
- Winter Pruning to Control Apple Canker
Sometimes a drastic tree health problem like apple canker requires a fairly drastic pruning remedy.
- Master Fitzherbert, on When to Graffe your Fruit Trees
Not sure when to graffe your peares, wardens or apples? Here’s Master F. to set you straight.
- Gervase Markham, on Medicinal Apples
Bubonic Plague? Pleurisy? Gervase Markham has just the thing to get you back on your feet again.
- Master Fitzherbert, on Equipment for Graffynge
Here’s a 16th century guide to assembling your graffynge kit, which every good housbande should keep to hand.
- Stepover Apple Trees: Winter Pruning, Year Two
A follow-up to last year’s stepover winter pruning post, with details of re-growth and this year’s pruning.
- Growing a ‘Family’ Apple Tree – Episode 1
I’ve been meaning to graft up a multi-variety apple tree for a while; here’s my first attempt.
- Fruit Tree Grafting Advice From the Experts
If you’re looking for expert advice on grafting apple and pear trees, look no further.
- John Evelyn, on the Variability of Kernels
Another good example of the almost scientific level of knowledge in C17th pomology.
- John Beale, on Sulphurous Cider Making
This 17th century snippet seems to be a method for making Brimstone-flavoured cider, unless I’ve read it wrong..?
- Rembert Dodoens and Henry Lyte, on Apples
Hoate stomacke? Take a sowrish apple for that. But watch out for blastinges in the belly…
- Planting Up More Cordon Apple Trees
It’s always a good day when you get to plant new apple trees.
- John Worlidge, on Grafting for Fun and Profit
In the 18th century pomologists knew that only grafted trees came true to type, without knowing exactly why…
- J. C. Loudon, on Persia’s Artistic Apples
Here’s a snippet from a 19th Century gardening magazine – sounds like it might be interesting to try.
- J. C. Loudon, on Making Raisiné Composé
Here’s a C19th recipe for a grape-and-apple jam that seems to be good with all sorts of things.
- Gallery: Winter in the Orchard at Quarry Bank
A few chilly images of the Apprentice House orchard at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal.
- Scion Gathering – Advice From the Experts
Another round up of videos, this time explaining the best way to cut and store scion wood for grafting.
- Darlene Hayes is Speaking of Cider Apples
A rather interesting new series on cider apple varieties has just started on the ‘Turn Them All Into Cider’ blog.
- John Evelyn, on the Use of Wildings for Cider
Sowing apple pips to grow wilding trees? “Facile,” says Mr Evelyn. “Hold my cider”, says Mr Brennan.
- William Hanbury, on Pumkin and Spiced Apples
Baked pum(p)kin and spiced apple deliciousness? What’s not to like?
- On The Trail of the ‘Hereford Beefing’
A chance glance at a Tweet sparks hours of enjoyable research into old apple varieties and this very long-read piece.
- John Taverner, on the Economic Benefit of Planting Orchards
It was a great idea in 1600 and it’s still a great idea in 2021: plant more orchards!
- Tree Planting Made Easy… with Dynamite!
Have a blast at tree planting time with this time- and labour-saving suggestion from 1911.
- Meet the Moor Nook Park Community Orchard
This short video from The Orchard Project highlights the transformative power of community orchards.
- Waxing Pomological at the Hort. Soc. London
A record of a rather superb (and rather under-unappreciated) gift to the Horticultural Society of London.
- Henry Phillips, on Healthy Drinking
It’s the nineteenth century apple juice concoction that’s on everyone’s lips…
- Fruit Tree Planting – Advice From the Experts
Four short videos, each explaining how best to plant your bare-root and/or potted fruit trees.
- Apple History, Apple Stories, Apples and People
A new website promises to bring us the fascinating story of the apple over the next 18 months.
- Charles Estienne, on Orcharding by the Moone
Wondering when might be the best phase of the Moone in which to plant your new apples trees?
- 145 yr old Wax Models of Apples and Pears
The Museums Victoria Whatmough Collection contains some rather fruity items.
- George Bunyard, on Planning a Family Orchard
If you’re wondering what to plant in your half-acre plot, Mr Bunyard has a few suggestions.
- Plot #79 Orchard Plan Now Online
The site now contains a set of pages of records of the trees we’re growing on our orchard allotment plot.
- Thomas Tusser, on Fruit to Plant in January
Looking for a handy checklist of fruit to plant before the month is out? Look no further.
- Leonard Mascall, on Graffing good Pepins
An intro to Genetic diversity and clonal propagation, sixteenth century style.
- Gallery: Winter in the Orchard at Ordsall Hall
A few pics, taken in haste before my fingers froze, on a bitterly cold January morning,.
- Via Twitter: The Pros and Cons of Plastic Tree Guards
Keith from @Stumpupfortrees has clearly done his homework on using tree guards when planting.
- Gallery: Harrison’s Nurseries Catalogue, 1912
In which a few colour plates from an old plant catalogue leads to an hour’s worth of speculative detective work.
- Ads of Yore: The Cutler Fruit Grader
They seemed like such a nice bunch of folks when we met them at the 1921 orchard trade fair…
- One to Follow: @Pomological on Twitter
Here’s a recommended Twitter account for anyone interested in pomological artwork.
- Richard Arnold, on The Craft of Graffyng
“To graf frute that shal have no core.” Clear. concise, sixteenth century instructions are provided.
- Ads of Yore: Pomona Tree Collections, 1930
Special offer fruit trees, anyone? Rail delivery as standard, postal service extra.
- Rev. T Collings Brehaut, on Locating Your Fruit Tree
A few words of advice as true back in 1860 as they are today.
- What Are ‘Chill Hours’ And Why Do They Matter?
The recent UK-wide cold-snap will have been really good for our fruit trees – here’s why.
- Samuel Colepress, on a Rare and Commendable Liquor
This sounds like a tasty twist on a traditional cider.
- R. Bradley, on Dealing With Unruly Espaliers
Are your pears unpleasing to Persons of Quality? Professor Bradley has the answer.
- J.W. Robertson Scott, on The Mystery of Apple Growing
Turns out apple growing is a lot more straightforward than some folks make out…
- Wassail, Wassail, With a Jolly Wassail!
It’s twelfth night – or one of them – which can mean only one thing in the orchard: Wassail!
- Ads of Yore: Canning! Canning!
Perishable fruit crop, you say? We have just the steam-powered thing…
- F. A. Waugh, on Pruning vs No-Pruning
A gentleman fructiculturists’s forthright opinions on pruning, delivered in 1913.
- Ads of Yore: Pond’s Centipede Ladder
Thinking of buying a new orchard ladder? Here’s one to bear in mind.
- Jacob Biggle, on Orchard Planning
A few words of wisdom from an orchard guide published back in 1906.
- Heritage Apple Info from the RHS
The Lindley Library’s celebration of heritage apples is well worth a look.
- How to: Pick Apples and Pears
Top fruit harvest season is here, so it’s time for a guide to picking apples and pears the safe and careful way.
- Orchard Pest & Disease Watch, 2020 Edition
There are a few of the usual problems to keep an eye on in the orchard this year.
- How To: Thin Out Apple and Pear Fruitlets
Fruit thinning is an essential operation to carry out to improve your chances of better quality fruit this year and more fruit buds next year.
- Gallery: Top-Fruit Blossom, Spring 2020
2020 has been a rather excellent year for fruit blossom. Here’s a gallery of some examples I’ve seen in various places.
- The Norfolk Beefing / Biffin Dilemma
In which I try to work out whether I can justify the energy consumption needed to cook up a classic apple dessert…
- Another Holly Mount Pruning Session, Feb 2020
A grey but dry and hugely enjoyable Sunday afternoon was well spent on helping to finish off this year’s winter pruning work.
- Mature Apple Tree: Restoration Pruning
Here’s how I went about the first phase of restorative pruning on a mature apple three that has been sadly neglected for a few years.
- Stepover Apple Trees: Winter Pruning
Here’s how I pruned three stepover trees on our allotment plot, leaving them until January rather than pruning in late summer as usually advised.
- Pruning Session: Holly Mount Orchard, January 2020
On a grey and drizzly afternoon I spent a happy few hours helping to winter prune a few of the trees in Holly Mount community orchard.
- Book Notes: Apple, by Marcia Reiss
A review of Marcia Reiss’ social history of the apple, as told from a US-based perspective.
- Restoration Pruning of an Overgrown Plum Tree
Improving the branch structure of an overgrown and crowded plum tree on our allotment plot.
- Aphid Update: Damson Saved, Plum Under Threat
Just when I thought the 2019 aphid night mare might have ended…
- How To: (Hopefully) Prevent an Orchard Aphid Nightmare
In which I attempt to save our damson from the ravages of an aphid infestation.
- Pruning: Crown-Lifting a Bramley’s Seedling
In which we remove the lower branches to create space for the tree’s owner to move around their garden.
- Restorative Pruning Workshop, Platt Fields, Manchester
A day of pruning tuition and practice at Platt Fields community orchard with the Orchard Project.
- Introducing Plot #79, Orchard-in-Progress
Preparing the ground for a 20-tree orchard on a derelict allotment plot.
- Modified Lorette System Pruning, Summer 2017
Applying the Modified Lorette to our air-pot mini-orchard apple trees.
- Time To Thin Out The Apples
Thinning out weaker, surplus fruitlets helps to improve the size and quality of the final fruits.
- Air-Pot Mini-Orchard Update: It’s Blossom Time
A healthy display of blossom should hopefully mean a few fruits to enjoy later in the year.
- Planting Our Fig Tree
In which we introduce our new fig tree to its fig-pit home.
- Establishing Our Air-Pot Mini Orchard
In which we plant out our new fruit trees into air-pot containers.
- Our Fruit Trees are Here!
Taking delivery of our fruit trees from the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale.
- Book Notes: The Apple Orchard, by Pete Brown
A review of Pete Brown’s new book on the social history and vital importance for the future of English orchards.