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Friday, March 5, 2010

The Apple Isle

This is how my apple tree looked last year. Loaded to the hilt, plenty for us and plenty for the parrots and many other birds in the upper branches. This year it's a different story after Craig pruned the tree. Tasmania is also known as "The Apple Isle" and once was the major exporter of apples to Europe until the 1970's. Half of those orchards have disappeared now but apple trees love and thrive in the Tasmanian climate.

A lot of Craig's work is as team leader for crews of tree planters. Many of the people who work for him are back packers and come from many different countries. The work is hard and often mountainous and physically demanding but they get to see a lot of spectacular scenery and close encounters with wildlife. On the way home from the bush, Craig will spot an apple tree growing on the side of the road and stop the trouppie for everyone to pick apples. A really refreshing treat for weary workers.

These trees are sprung mainly from apple cores thrown from passing cars. Most people wizz by, never knowing they are there. These apples are great to cook with. Kevin West who writes Saving the Season suggests making Apple Jelly with Chardonnay and Cloves . I just love his blog and his passion for flavour experiments and the rejoicing in heirloom varieties.

If you live in Tasmania, make a plan to search your minor highways and roads. Take the family for a picnic and gather some apples. I will tell you that there are a number of trees along the road from Exeter to Winkleigh and along the Frankford Hwy too. Remember to be safe on the roadside, don't hinder any passing traffic and be mindful of others property and don't climb farmer's fences. You'll need to take a basket, a hat, your sense of adventure and a step would be handy too.


  1. Now that would be fun! I need to go to Batlow or Bilpin t gather apples.

  2. I have always wanted a fruit tree in our yard, but just not enough sun. We live in the woods.

  3. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement and thoughts on healthy cooking.I am going to try it little by little and hopefully get to the goal I envision for our family.


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