Quincing

Sunday, 28 September 2014







Today was quince-picking day, a day earlier than last year, but much the same photographs. There were no quinces in 2012 but in 2011 I picked them on the 25th September on a much gloomier day than today, and in 2010 I waited until the 4th of October before harvesting.

This year has been a poor year for my quince tree. I have picked just twenty-five fruit with a handful left on the tree out of reach. Lots have fallen already rotten to the ground. Last year I had ten times as many and gave away hundreds for pig food. Twenty-five is an ideal number of quinces to have though. I need five or six to make around five jars of jelly and two to make a bottle of quince vodka. I shall bake some, stew some into a delicious purée and still have plenty to spare.

~

Thanks for all the good wishes for George as he embarks upon university life. Two trips from the car to his room was all it took to unload his stuff. We had a quick look round his room (a box just big enough for a bed, a sink and a desk) and the kitchen before heading to the welcome centre for lunch and then home. We were there less than an hour. No point hanging around so we left him to it. 
Interesting fact - Hull has cream coloured telephone boxes.

24 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:51 pm BST

    hope your ok and he settles in quickly. Quinces look lovely, rather silly question but what do they taste like ? please dont say quince as i shall be non the wiser
    regards tess

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    1. I will say that they taste like quince I'm afraid. How would you describe the taste of an apple? Impossible to describe isn't it? :)

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  2. Anonymous6:38 pm BST

    Hi Sue, your post today couldn't have been more timely. This afternoon we had tea and cakes in the village of Braughing, Herts (wonderful teas laid on by the volunteers in aid of the church plus you come home with change from a fiver!) and a lady, who was looking at quinces on the stall table, asked what she could do with them. Well naturally I recommended your blog and now she won't have to search very far for ideas! Good luck to George!

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  3. How often do you prune your quince tree? Does this improve the yield? Will pruning enable you to reach all the fruit? Do different fertilisers alter the sweetness of the fruit?

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    1. We usually take some branches off in the autumn but I'm not sure we do it correctly and I don't use any kind of fertiliser. I expect the few quince I can't reach with my handy fruit picking device will be within my husband's reach.

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  4. I have a grand total of four quince on my tree :( after two years of no quinces at all. I shall make jelly with mine and keep the vodka idea at the back of my mind for next year's crop.

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  5. Oh I do like those telephone boxes. It's been an odd year for apples as well this year, not sure why. Loads of pears, not so many apples, and quite a bit of brown rot. I wish quinces were more available in greengrocers, I do love them. CJ xx

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  6. Those photgraphs are gorgeous - especially the last one. I swear that quince is dancing!

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  7. Anonymous2:35 am BST

    Whenever I read about gardening questions I check on the website of a local radio gardening show, You Bet Your Garden. The host answers emailed and phoned in questions. For what it's worth, here's some general info on fruit tree pruning.

    http://www.gardensalive.com/product/how-and-when-to-prune-fruit-trees

    In his A-Z list of questions and answers, he had nothing about quinces. Maybe the books he mentions would be of help. Wonder if global warming and its roller coaster influence on weather patterns has any effect on fruiting trees.

    How are you adjusting to one less? I cried my eyes out when my one and only went off to college, but got over it by turning my mind to other activities. But I'll always miss him. Wish I could permanently take over his room, rather than clearing it out and giving it back when he comes to visit.

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    1. I'm afraid I haven't cried once and don't intend to, but maybe I'd feel differently if he was my only child. Thanks fort he gardening info.

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  8. I loved your pictures - the quince is such an odd, even old=fashioned fruit that begs to be painted in oil ;-)
    Pruning is probably one way of encouraging the fruit, but in the UK this year in general seems to have been not a very good one for apples and the like, judging by my neighbours' stories.
    Looking forward to hearing what you're going to do with them! I made some jelly and quince cheese recently, but haven't managed to put it on the blog yet. I might wait for next year, when I have a better crop ;-)
    Ginger

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  9. This little bit of Wales has had a bumper crop of apples, I have been given more than I can cope with. I am planting a new garden and have 3 apples, I would love to have a Quince. What variety is yours? many years ago I had some Flowering Quince shrubs and got a good supply of small fruit from them. A dish of fruit would scent the whole room, much better than air freshener.

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    1. I think it's Vranja Pam but am not 100 per cent certain.

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  10. We have no quinces this year, for the second year running. A lot of blossom and then zilch. Lots of apples, lots of completely tasteless plums and a handful of pears.

    We did the same as you with depositing at university. It's their life and they have to make it!

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  11. Sue,

    I went to Hull Uni and he is going to love it,as Hull has one of the most vibrant and exciting nightlives of any University City.Also the Student Union put on some amazing gigs with cheap beer too so its a win win lol.

    As for the telephone boxes,Hull is one of the only cities in the UK to have its own telephone companies hence the cream phone boxes

    Lesleyxx

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    1. I'm so glad I wrote about George going to Hull Uni as I've had lots of encouraging comments like yours Lesley, thank you! Yes, Kingston Communications, love that individuality about the city.

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  12. You take a better quince photo than anyone else I know! We thought of you often over the weekend - and George.

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  13. Quality quince not quantity perhaps? They'll be much appreciated I'm sure. I only had a meagre haul of crab apples. They produced three jars, but realistically that's all we need.

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  14. They may be fewer but they look just as good.

    The Norton Priory quince fair where I always source my quinces is not until October 12th ... I hope they still have plenty then!

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  15. glad the trip to drop off George went well, we missed you.

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  16. Isn't it comforting how, in times of change and flux, some things (like harvesting quinces) are the same as they were last year and will be the same next year. x

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  17. The quinces look good and enough is all you need.

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  18. I've just baked half a dozen as per your instructions, Sue - many thanks! - and the most delicious perfume is wafting from the kitchen. Makes me realise why you are so fond of them. Quince tart continues tomorrow morning. (They've been sitting on the windowsill for nearly a week!)

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    1. I can smell them from here Mary!

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