Only two weeks to go until Cambridge Apple Day and it’s time to start scrumping. The tump opened this weekend and Dylan (as birthday boy) had the honour of putting the first apple in.
Here are some rules for scrumping:
1. Make sure you ask permission, but don’t be afraid to ask. Most people don’t make good use of their apples and will thank you for saving them the chore of filling the green bin. If you see a tree in someone’s garden, knock on the door and ask. If you know of somewhere with a particularly big haul, then why not organise a scrumping party to join you?
2. Variety is really important, but let’s stick to apples. Our method of cider making relies on getting a great mix of different types of apple: eaters, cookers, crabs, so try to scrump a couple of trees at least. We don’t use pears or other fruit, but feel free to bring some for snacking.
3. Leave them on the trees as long as you can, but collect the windfalls regularly. Chuck out anything with mould and don’t pick from orchards with livestock. Feel free to drop them round to Phil and Jane’s house if you can’t store them until the big day – the tump is ready and waiting. If storing yourself, then keep them dry and well aired. Storing apples for a couple of weeks isn’t too much hassle. A hessian sack in a shed works well.
This year has been a tough one for all kinds of fruit and the apple crop is very weak. It shouldn’t be a problem though. Cambridge is full of apple trees and sadly far too few of them get used. Get out there and get scrumping!