I have strong memories of the apple harvest as a child. I think my earliest memory was spotting a pair of long legs dangling from our apple tree, at the top of our garden. I called out to my mum ‘there’s someone in our tree’. My mum shocked! Ran out of the house scaring the teenaged apple ‘scrumper’ up the garden and into the fields beyond. I was five back then, wondering why someone wanted to steal apples!
Growing up, every house we moved to either had an established apple tree or my mum would plant a few within months of moving in. Usually a couple of good eaters, a braeburn or a russet. It seemed important to my mum to always have a fruit tree in the garden, even before decorating the bedrooms – such is our family, a family of nature lovers and gardeners.
When I was 8 we moved from suburban Hertfordshire to really rural Somerset – a village which prided itself on the apple harvest, although it was firmly for the making of Cider. It was all hands on deck to get the harvest in, in those days.
Today, I live in an urban terraced home, with little room for an apple tree. We did try, but it became too large and shaded out our tiny courtyard, so it sadly had to go. I miss the seasonal harvest, the pie making, hot from the oven, drizzled with cream. Yes, I could buy apples – but where is the fun in that?!
I’ve resorted to scrumping myself.
Scrumping ‘To steal fruit, especially apples, from a garden or orchard’.
Around these parts, West Country, scrumping is a common sight and not at all frowned upon – I tell myself. I see it as my duty to collect the apples that would fall and be wasted.
So today, Dan and I went to a secret location here in Bristol, and scrumped a few. Not a lot, but just enough for a pie later. We felt naughty, it was fun! And so seasonal too, being the eve of the Autumn Equinox – it felt perfectly the RIGHT thing to do!
Seasonal rituals, well this brings me nicely to my new collaborative hashtag – #anatural_autumn, with my pal Laura Pashby @circleofpines. This autumn, please share your autumnal images on Instagram with the tag #anatural_autumn. Think slow, simple, natural and pared back images. Such as fallen leaves, fireside reading, collecting conkers, baking pies, preserving, a seasonal floral arrangement etc. We shall be sharing our favourites on our blogs in the coming weeks.
We are so looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Striped top is from Braintree Clothing. Straw tote is from Owl in the Ivy.