An apple a day? Well that’s certainly possible for nine months of the year, if you want to eat an apple grown here in the UK. The first apple of the season arrives early in August, most commonly the Discovery, followed by Spartan, Bramley, Cox, Red Windsor, Egremont Russet and Jonagold, with some varieties that can be kept in store until at least April of the following year.
English apples have recovered their reputation in recent years, following a couple of decades of decline. During this time, many orchards were lost as their perceived value decreased and it’s only in the last 10 to 15 years or so that there’s been a revival. Thanks in large part to the National Fruit Collection in Brogdale, Kent, which houses some 2,200 different varieties, the apples available now would be more familiar to those who tended their own orchards a 100 years or so ago. https://www.brogdalecollections.org/
Today, with the help of Brogdale, farmers and orchards up and down the country are investing in and harvesting cultivars native to or bred for these shores. With a myriad of names that can sometimes defy belief – Bloody Butcher to Sandlin Duchess – there’s an apple for everyone’s taste.
Here, at Melrose and Morgan we’ve been working with Chegworth Valley Farm https://chegworthvalley.com/ for over 15 years now, stocking a range of native apples throughout the season as well as their own bottles of juiced apples. Cox’s Orange Pippin, Egremont Russet, Discovery, Spartan and their own Chegworth Beauty will all be available throughout the month. Come and bag yourself some.