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Apple Day: enjoying the forgotten English Apple

From Dan Neuteboom, Braiseworth, Eye came, Jester, Falstaff, Crispin, Egremont Russett, Idared, Jonagold, Suffolk Pink, Luthers Pipin

From Ann and Martin at Wakelyns farm, (from apple trees planted by them when they first arrived in 1994): - Bloody Ploughman, Leathercoat Russett, Orange Geoff, Goldon Keob, Flower of Kent, Rev Wilkes

From Eddie Krutysza, who, it transpired, had planted most of Metfields apple trees, came: Ashmead Kernal, Spartan, Arthur Turner, Blenehim Orange, Lanes Prince Albert, Dr Harvey, Kidds Orange Read, Fiesta, Prince Albert.

From Peter and Sue a Tom Putt - a classic cider apple.

Altogether we offered over 25 different varieties for people to taste and buy. Not forgetting apple juice from Dan and Jonathan Coules - Suffolk Apple Juice.

Two of our creative volunteers, Barbara and Franie, set to with felt tip pen and baskets to create a display in our shop window. Upon seeing it, Jan, our shop manager, felt instantly inspired to bake 8 delicious apple pies, and Bridget our stock queen baked a French apple pie.

It was a quintessential October day, billowing clouds, a splattering of rain, slanting sun. Finally offering a choice of 6 for a quid, we persuaded most who came in to celebrate with an apple. One we gave a way to a lady celebrating 28 years of marriage that day, one to a man who's front teeth were damaged in a London brawl (a soft variety). The sweetness and perfect apple red of Jester, the succulent taste of Falstaff, the apple sharp/sweet of Orange Goff, and unusual perfumed taste of Kentish Quarenden made these varieties sell the most successfully.

Eddie came in - minus woolly hat - brining authentic apple understanding to all who passed by at mid-day, discussing the qualities of Dr Harvey, Ashmead Kernal, sniffing Sylvia's apples, to find a name. Bridget's stunning poster describing his apple tree root stock brightened the notice board. A car load of 4 children preferred apples to sweets, others did not.

So we've continued Apple day into this week, inibing the sweet apple smell pervading the shop.

Why not have local cider next year, some said.