Sunday, September 8

Little Green Apples?

Back in 2004 we planted two greengage trees - Mannings and Reine Claude. I know exactly when as I took a photo to mark the event.
We later took on and cleared the area to the left of the photo - at the time it was just one of many derelict plots on the site.

We'd never really fancied greengages as they didn't look particularly appetising. Ripe fruit are meant to change from green to red or purple or yellow. Faced with the plate below which would you choose?
On holiday in France we decided to try a few - just to confirm our suspicions that it would be a waste of time growing greengages. That tasting was a revelation - they were far tastier than even the tastiest plums. 

We already had three plum trees on our plot and one particularly fruitful year, when our plum trees were loaded with fruit on the point of ripening, some nice person decided the help themselves to the lot - totally stripped the trees of fruit. At this point we reasoned that if we grew greengages maybe these would be safer from predatory trespassers.

Like the plum trees our greengages tend to crop biennially. One year all the gages and plums produce a bumper crop and the next year just a smattering of fruit. (If only they would take turns)!

This year although a month later than usual the trees promised a great crop.
And you will know if you visit Martyn's blog we haven't been disappointed. The photo below shows just some of the crop!
Really the only way to tell if they are ripe is to taste one as the fruit ripen before they soften. 

Greengages are just commonplace to us now so I was amused  to overhear a couple of women at the supermarket trying to decide what the things that looked like little green apples were. They turned up their noses and walked away - those two women didn't know what they were missing or maybe supermarket greengages are like many other supermarket fruits and would disappoint.
Another gold star goes to the greengages as, unlike the plums, not one of them had a dreaded plum moth maggot lurking inside.
There's nothing worse - or is there? Maybe if someone decides to steal our plums again they will be treated to more than they had bargained for!

23 comments:

  1. That's what I call a bumper crop. Will you preserve some for winter use?

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    1. Some have been stewed and made into a compote and frozen, Jo

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  2. Strange that they're not affected by maggots. We had a bumper crop of plums this year, but sadly they are nearly all full of them.

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    1. It seems to have been a good year for the plum moth. I wonder if it is connected to the trees being about a month behind.

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  3. What a fantastic crop! and how rude of some people to take your plums that time, let's hope that they enjoyed the protein from the little critters inside!

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    1. The problem, Chel is that they have only really had the 'critters' this year so they were probably critterfree when they were stolen!

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  4. They look lovely. I am thinking maybe I could squeeze in a little tree at the allotment. Which variety would you recommend out of your two? I put in a plum tree last year, so a greengage would be a good addition I think. I find fruit trees very hard to resist. I have a sad half of a cherry tree which I'll be putting in this winter as well.

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    1. Can't really choose between them, CJ as both are equally tasty and they crop withing a few grams of one another and both had fruit harder to reach left on the trees. So I'd recommend both! There are other Reine Claude varieties with extra bits tagged on to the name ours was the original Reine Claude.

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    2. Thanks Sue, I shall keep a look out for a reasonably priced tree this winter.

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  5. Well, you've certainly sold them to me....I shall most certainly try them now!

    How annoying to have all your fruit raided like that!!!!xxxx

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    1. Hope the ones you buy are as good as home grown, Snowbird.

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  6. They are my favourite plum too - that is a fantastic crop I have never had one that heavy but do savour the few that I do get.

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    1. The trees are quite large Elaine. Which variety do you have?

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  7. Lovely Sue thanks for sharing

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  8. What a harvest! We love greengages too, but our orchard is too young to deliver a crop yet, so we have been buying them every day. Today we devoured two punnets of them - imagine what we would save if we were to have a harvest like yours! One day....

    Tonight I will have a nightmare about plum moth maggots after seeing that amazing photo!!!

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    1. Imagine how I felt, Crystal when I cut into one and found the pink wiggly thing. The plum was launched into orbit!

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  9. You did very well with these. I should look into Greengage but I don't think it is commonly available in North America. We have a Damson that produced quite a bit this year. We have to get the fruit just before they completely ripen as they also get stolen, but not by humans, by raccoons!

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    1. Those raccoons can be a problem for you can't they Alain? Doesn't Ruthie like damsons?

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  10. What a great fruit harvest you've had. I don't think I've ever tried greengages so I must look out for them in the shops.

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    1. You must try them Kelli - they were a revelation

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  11. The tree itself was just beautiful in bloom!! Now I will try them if I should ever see these little green apples for sale )))

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    1. Do Bren as they are sweeter than any green fruit deserves to be!

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