On returning from the first week away most of the harvest was courgettes and cucumbers from the polytunnel, plus a few tomatoes and climbing french beans. The forest garden yielded lots of Japanese wineberries, some blackcurrants, blueberries and a few pears.
After the second week away things have changed a little. The polytunnel is still producing lots of cucumbers and the tomatoes are accelerating. Outside the hazelnuts are going brown and I've started to pick them. I try to pick them a little early and dry them inside to beat the squirrels to it. I picked about 3 kg yesterday and there are still lots more to be picked.
I picked the remaining pears, which haven't done very well this year. By contrast there are lots of apples in the garden. For each variety there are typical times for picking and storage in the books. My early Redsleeves tree was even earlier than the recommended picking time. It seems as though the others are ready earlier too. For example, the Court of Wick apples are supposed to be ready for picking in late September, but come away easily now when lifted up. I've picked a few, but am slightly nervous about picking them so early. They keep until October to December so I don't expect to be able to tell from the flavour whether they are ripe yet. Most of these are in good condition and look as though they will keep well.
In general the apples have suffered from Codling moth quite badly. Many of the fruit have holes in. The tree that I grafted in 2011 with Egremont Russet and Merton Russet now has a good crop of both. Some of these have fallen off while I was away. Both varieties again have a later picking date according to the books. I picked some of the Egremont Russet yesterday as they came off easily. About half looked as though they will keep, others look too holey. Many of the apples have woodlice in holes in them too. I'm not sure if this is because of the Codling moth holes or from bird damage. I probably will slice and dry the ones that won't store. The Blue Pearmain apple is a really interesting one. I have a double cordon of this and the largest fruit are enormous, but it also has some very small ones too. Some of these have holes in too so I have picked all of them to see if the good ones will ripen inside. nest year I'm going to experiment with pheremone traps as I've heard positive things about them from friends.