In well-behaved orchards this is an annual delight.
Not here. Our inherited on a steep slope quince trees only put in the effort every two years.
And every time I promise myself to invest in proper quince breeds which can be reliable croppers every autumn.
Oh, and I’d plant them on the flat. Or a gentle slope in the orchard below the lawn. There is even a space in the orchard reserved for this very idea.
(I can’t nip out and photograph as it’s pitch dark pre-dawn. And raining.)
Instead these beauties cover the hilariously steep slope above the Dry Garden east of the farmhouses.
They self seed-like (sucker? I must do my quince research) like mad. And actually fruit.
So from the original ones planted by my predecessors I know have a forested slope of the beasts. And that means they are almost inaccessible. I have to wait for them to drop and roll before I can pick most of the crop.
Thank goodness they are so prolific I can nab them from the dirt track above the slope. Low hanging fruit.
But have you spotted the spots?
Oh yes. That wretched biblical hail storm back when the fruit were forming has left a mark. A thousand marks.
The poor fruit are pocked. And the drought has given them the desiccated small sized mien of suffering.
Still. One picks. One poaches.
And if you turn them round you can actually pretend they are lovely fruit.
Pan back and the full horror of the work ahead is revealed. Tedious evenings with the veggie peeler. And the cleaver.
Still, with the drought broken and rain and rain and rain in the forecast, what else are you going to do with your time but poach and munch?