PERSONALLY, I love the British soft fruit season. All those lovely berries and cherries which can be made into delicious traditional pies, crumbles and, of course, summer puddings or eaten raw straight from the plant or with cream.
It also evokes my childhood memories of long warm summer days when I accompanied my grandad, a keen gardener, to pick raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants.
So at this time of the year I tend to lament summer giving way to early autumn, in the knowledge it will be another eight months before the British soft fruit season starts again.
However as autumn begins to arrive there is one major silver lining to the changing season – the proliferation of wonderful British apples. Worcester Pearmain, Discovery, Laxton’s Fortune, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Lord Lambourne, Egremont Russet – the list is huge.
And while the apple of orchards of Worcestershire have declined over the years, the residents of Tenbury Wells and the surrounding areas will be celebrating the British apple season with the ever popular Tenbury Applefest on Saturday October 1.
The day will be packed with entertainment for all the family including singing by children from three local primary schools and the Royal British Legion Choir; music from the Tenbury Teme Valley Band and Bandemonium; displays from the Leominster Morris Dancers; demonstrations by a blacksmith; car displays with vehicles from two MG owners clubs and Knighton Historic Vehicle Club; owls, alpacas and other animal encounters plus much more.
There will be more than 250 apple, pear and quince varieties on show in the Apple Marquee courtesy of local tree supplier Frank P Matthews Ltd, with staff on hand to talk about the apples and provide information on apple/tree husbandry.
Visitors are invited to take along three apples from each of their own trees for an anonymous apple identification by members of the Marcher Apple Network, while the Appleteme group will be pressing apples brought in by visitors to take away as their own delicious juice. The apples should be washed and visitors must supply clean containers for the juice.
There will be a variety of trade stands and commercial food stands for those who want to shops and there are two fun competitions for people to enter – an apple photographic competition and the best apple pie contest. Details of entry can be found at http://www.tenburyapplefest.co.uk/photography-competition/
Chairman of the Tenbury Applefest Association David Patrick said: “Again this year we are offering a wide variety of activities, entertainment, demonstrations and displays, and are confident that Applefest 2016 will provide a great day out for all of the family.”
Further details can be found at www.tenburyapplefest.co.uk and www.facebook.com/TenburyApplefest
The festival takes place on The Burgage recreational area in the town from 10am to 5pm. Admission to the fun packed day is just £2.50 with children under 16 going free.