Thursday, 9 October 2014

What a Bounty

Wednesday was a day of sunshine and showers. The early morning temperature had fallen to 4.2°C giving us another cold start to the day. Despite the showers I’d decided it was time I picked our quinces after last week’s test confirmed that they were ready for picking.
Wandering down the allotment path to the shed I noticed that some of the leaves on this spare squash plant that hasn't yet been cleared away to the compost heap look to have suffered some frost damage. I've always suspected that temperature on the plot falls a little lower than the temperatures I record at home.
It had been a little bit breezy lately especially after a very calm September and I thought a combination of the breeze and rain might have knocked some of the quinces from the tree. Unlike our apple trees there weren't any windfalls to pick up. Planted in 2010 our Meeches Prolific variety has made a lovely weeping tree about 2.0m high with a similar spread. As you can see from the photo it was covered in quinces this year. It’s the first year it’s had a “proper” crop.
There were a few fruits that went straight to the compost heap but the rest looked to be in excellent condition as far as I could tell. These three bucket fulls amount to just short of 16 kg (35 lbs).

These aren’t available to buy in the shops so it’s an extra special crop. As we've never had so many before storage has never been a problem we've had to consider. I think they should store well into the winter. Advice on the RHS web site is shown below:
“Only undamaged fruits should be picked and then stored in a cool, dark place on shallow trays. Ensure the fruits do not touch and do not wrap them. Allow them to ‘mellow’ for six and eight weeks before use. Quinces are strongly aromatic so avoid storing with other fruits. They will keep for two or three months.”
I'm not sure I can wait two or three month or even six to eight weeks. Perhaps I’ll try some straight away and maybe keep a few to see if they improve with age.


  1. It's good news that they can be stored for a while, you have a really substantial crop. They look lovely on the tree.

    1. Enough quinces to try them on their own without any apples.


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