On Friday, people across the country will be celebrating the apple – recognising the wealth and variety available in the UK. National Apple Day was started in 1990 by Common Ground in Covent Garden, and has since spread, with hundreds of events taking place. In NW London we have been playing our small part. Over the past few weeks the local fruit-harvesting group (part of the Abundance scheme) has picked more than 400 kg of fruit that neighbours couldn’t reach or didn’t want, and given the excess to charities. A couple of weekends ago we joined members of some other Brent picking groups at nearby Fryent Country Park and together gathered a further 418kg, much of which went to the Sufra foodbank.
Hundreds of different varieties of apples are cultivated in the UK – Fryent’s 1000 fruit trees include 28 varieties of heritage apples, all grown organically and maintained by the Barn Hill Conservation Group. They include the Pinner Seedling, discovered in Harrow in 1834 and grafted on to root stock by the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale.
Some apples I found there have me puzzled – they look almost like a pear. No-one in our group was sure about the variety. Any suggestions?