The time is nearly here when I pick my hundreds of apples from my three glorious apple trees…I’m always so thankful for my harvest… Picking each apple makes me feel honoured and humbled that such a lovely, delicious fruit has grown on my tree in my garden and I have hundreds!
I also have this nagging guilt when i pick, that some of them will goto waste… We certainly can’t eat them all…there are only so many pies, crumbles, juices, buns, jars of apple sauce and puddings one family can eat…
But they are so beautiful, each one precious and deserving of someone to love, enjoy and value it.
Over the years I’ve collected many customers for my free of charge apples. Mum, grandma, visiting friends, mr and mrs Donaldson over the road accept a couple of crumbles ( she struggles to bake these days) and I also deliver a sack to the church in time for their apple harvest festival,..but I’m still left with apples in abundance!! And I hate wasted food …..
So last year for the first time I unearthed my basket old picnic hamper, loaded it with yummy apples and a sign saying “help yourself…free apples) placing it at the end of the drive I felt pleased they would go to good homes and might just make someone’s day…. May even encourage everyone to bake ( I had a romantic idea that the smell of baked apple pies would waft around our gardens)
By day two not one had gone .. Cars had slowed down and dog walkers stopped to read… But not one apple was taken:-( ( except from a spotted hedgehog who enjoyed a fruit or two)
After much confused and giggly discussion we wondered if folks thought it was some kind of trick… Talking about the poisoned apple and the wicked step mother we hid our disappointment . We were aware that our lovely leafy estate wasn’t full of folk that Neighboured. We had tried a few times to drag them out of their lovely homes to become a thriving and inclusive community. First time we tried one christmas…we made christingles and clove studded oranges and took the kids and a couple of their friends carol singing. We practised at home and decided we were not going to ask for money and as a sign of goodwill and peace we would give out the oranges instead. A perfect christmas eve activity for the kids and lovely sentiment for the neighbours. After singing at over twenty doors, only had maybe three opened them, we were disheartened. But we carried on, believing we would be making someone smile behind each door, and that would be ok…singing our carols and leaving the oranges on doorsteps…we had a few more secretly open doors while we were at another houses, a couple of home owners running after us panicking. Thrusting their oranges back at us , they worried that we may have planted some kind of bomb in it or even that we might post through an invoice over the holidays for the said orange! The thought it was something for nothing terrifying them. We went the year after and more ( if only a few more) did open their door..albeit trying to give us money… Us refusing of course, much to their confusion.
Another time the kids and I sat down to devise a way to support earth hour… We typed out a short note inviting everyone on our street to turn out their lights for a hour at the guven time, put the given tea light into a jam jar in their window and take a walk around our block…we walked around posting the candle and note in every door excited to see if they would partake in this small but significant show of commitment and community. Out of the hundred or so homes… Only 4 took to the street and only two more lit their candle…. What a shame!?! But at least we tried… And some did respond… Better than none. ( however I did spend the whole walk countering ‘how hard can it be… Just turn your lights off for one hour…. Etc etc… Phfft’
So last year, we giggled as we put up a sign … Apples 10p each….by midday every apple had gone and although, thrilled, we felt a little sad that the only way our community would take something was to pay for it….
We will try again this weekend… Gather our fruit and put out front for free… Maybe they will trust us a little more this year and accept our gifts.
I however, will be thinking of how to bring the street together…maybe providing a lantern making workshop in time for earth hour this year.. Would anyone come? May be a carol service where everyone comes out and meets for christmas singing one evening? I’m gonna keep trying it’ll be worth it one day they will come out of their homes and be a community..
Happy apples everyone.. Anyone want any?