One of the joys of moving to Dalmore in 2010 was the prospect of establishing an apple orchard. Planted between 2011 and 2013, the Dalmore orchard has nearly 100 trees with 20 different varieties of apple. It’s also home to our 100 laying hens, who help with pest control and fertilisation of the soil.
Why buy local apples?
The apples you buy in the supermarket are almost always picked before they are ripe, to ensure they do not spoil in storage or on the shelf. They are often sprayed with wax or other substances once picked, and are routinely sprayed with chemicals whilst growing. They are normally stored in refrigerated facilities, and will often be 6-12 months old by the time they arrive in your fruit bowl. Not to mention the environmental impact of importing apples from South America or New Zealand.
Our apples are never sprayed with chemicals – we may spray with neem oil , which is harmless to bees and other pollinators, once a year in spring to deter aphids and other pests (we haven’t sprayed in 2018) – and they are never refrigerated.
We only pick our apples when they are ripe, so they taste like apples should taste.
Buying Dalmore apples
We will have fresh, ripe apples for sale at the Croft between September and February each year. Some varieties have a short cropping period and will only be available for a week or so, others stay on the tree for several weeks. You can see which apples are available at any time here or on our Facebook page.
Our apple varieties
We grow a mixture of eating and cooking apples, and a mixture of popular and local varieties:
Our earliest eating apple, usually ready to pick in early-mid September. Crisp and juicy, pink-tinged white flesh. Gets sweeter with ripening.
The best cooking apples we’ve ever tasted. Excellent flavour, keeps its shape and freezes well. Ready late-September through October.
A variety you might be familiar with, lovely crisp and juicy eater, makes great juice and cider. Crops in October and into November.
The apple sauce apple, Arthur Turner can be cooked down to a smooth puree. A great cooker for pies too, and can be sweet enough to eat without sugar! Crops October-November.
More varieties coming soon…