Today my mum and I went to the Apple Day at the Green Wood Trust in Ironbridge, there was apple juice freshly pressed from a big hand press, apple varieties to try and buy trees, bird feeders made from apples, hog roast (with apple sauce, obviously), locally made cider, and lots more apple themed and other. It was a nice afternoon out in lovely surroundings and I bought home some amazing apple juice, mum says they have a press in the garage that my dad made years ago so we may have a go at pressing some juice of our own.
I am very interested in apples at the moment. There are a couple of apple trees in my Grandma's garden that have been there years (no idea what variety they are), the apples are nice enough to eat but nothing particularly special, until you cook them. My Grampy used to make the most amazing apple pie, I have never tasted anything like it, the taste was sweet and warm and vanillary and the apples were very slightly pink. I always thought it was some secret ingredient or cookery tip, until last year. There was a heavy crop of apples on the trees, Grandma was giving lots away and I had a bag full so I made some pies. It was just like grampy used to make, pink tint and all, not a secret ingredient after all but a magic apple! So this year I am sending some of the apples off to Brogdale farm home of the national fruit collection to try and get them identified, in the hope of finding out just what the magic apple is. I am also planning to try some grafting from the trees so I can have them in my garden.
I have never done any grafting before so have been reading any guides/tutorials I can find, but if anyone has any practical experience or tips for beginners to share I would appreciate it. From everything I've read I need to wait until the trees are completely dormant to take cuttings to graft so I will let you know how that goes later in the year!