Typing the date I realise it is the so-called 'glorious' twelfth' when we remember the ecological and human deserts that are created by absentee land "owners" so that rich gits can kill things with guns.

Haven't seen any grouse or pheasant at Gwel Dulas, although there is some indication of small deer browsing the lower leaves of saplings.

This week I have been mostly processing plums. Also the tail end of the blackcurrants and the first of the raspberries which are now coming in faster than the birds and flies can eat them. Plum jam (two batches), plum wine, plum chutney, plum cheese, plum tart and, of course, lots of plum eating.

Got 22lbs in one pick of the first of the Dittisham Ploughman trees (location PL4) having already had 4 or more lbs the previous week and another couple on still ripening on the tree. The other Dittisham Ploughman at PL5 has as good a crop but seems to be about 10 days behind, which is handy as otherwise I'd have been seriously overwhelmed. That'll be coming in over the next days.

The Damson at PL2 is also heavily laden, although the fruit has turned deep purple it is still very hard and acid. The Old Greengage at PL3 has a few fruits - maybe a lb or two, also still unripe. The original Victoria (PL1) had died back on all its branches with some sort of disease/fungus attack under the bark. I've cut it right back to about 6" above the graft and there are a couple of shoots which look like they are healthy at the moment but I'm not hopeful.

This week the long dry spell (more of less zero rain since mid May) broke which is a great relief - possibly just in time for the damsons and apples and pears.

Did an audit of the apple trees - most have a few fruit, some as many as 40+

  • Breadfruit A17 - c20
  • Sops-in-wine A16 - c30
  • Crabs CA1 & 2 - both heavily laden
  • Saw Pit A13 - c40
  • Mylor Pike A10 - c6 (were a lot more but blackbirds attacked them during the drought)
  • Cottage Colloggett A7 - c15
  • Cottage Colloggett A4 - 1
  • Russett A1 - c15
  • Russet A2 - c5
  • Callington Gillyflower A5  - 1 (later planting)
  • Cottage Colloggett A8 - 1
  • Lady Henniker A11 - c15
  • Lady Henniker A14 - c20
  • Pigs Snout A12 - 5
  • Snell's Glass A9 - c30
  • Colloggett Pippin A6 - c20
  • Russet A3 - 2
  • Sidney Strake A15 - 1 (later planting)
  • Sack and Sugar A19 - none (latest planting)
  • Sidney Strake A18 - none (latest planting)

The Medlar (M1) is heavily laden. Of the quinces the two Vranja's (Q2 & 3) have a few high up and both have blighted leaves, the Serbian Gold (Q1) seems to have a fair few, and the newest ones ( 2 Meech's Prolific (Q4 & 6) and another Vranja Q5) are too young to have any yet.

Next week I need to audit the pears.

Be interesting to see what the attrition is - drops, windfalls, wasps, birds - between now and harvest...