Wednesday, 2 May 2012

No pleasing some people

28042012173     It's May! And we're all full of the joys of spring! The left-wing people take to the streets, the Anglicans stand on top of church towers and sing at the dawn, and I anxiously scan the orchard for evidence of blossom.
    Blossom. It's the cider-maker's unhealthy obsession in Spring. How much of it is there, is there enough water, enough light for it, and are the dreaded frosts kept at bay.
    Fortunately this year has seen the wettest April in decades, so frost hasn't been a problem and  though we're ironically short of water due to almost no winter rainfall, the blossom hasn't had it too dry. It's been a little later than last year too, probably because of the cold winter.
    Seems odd, a wet drought. The usual grousing in the suburbs about hosepipe bans. But it's very real, even now after all that rain if you dig down a few inches the ground is dried out. The water is being sucked up by the plants, it's draining straight off the surface before it can soak in, and it's simply being evaporated by warm weather. Even a wet April can be warm enough for that it seems!
    So the chances are it's going to be a dry summer. Which provides a fresh set of worries for a cider-makers, will the apples shrivel up and fall off the trees, or perhaps will they have a low juice yield?
    I should spend less time worrying, shouldn't I.
    One notable anniversary passed last week, it's a year since the Rusty Old Wreck passed its MOT after a lengthy period off the road. This year's MOT now passed, it's fit for another year's driving. Shame the weather's so damp, the roads are all muddy.
    There's no pleasing some people is there...


  1. Well at least you can be pleased by these marvellous pictures you are getting from your phone.

    Perhaps I should have bought a phone instead of...

  2. Surely a hot if dry summer means higher sugar content so stronger cider, it seems to work with my vines anyway.

  3. I suppose it could have been worse Jenny, absolutely no rain and a failure of last year's crop would be a pain

    Shirley Anne x

  4. At the end of the day a phone camera, even a good one like the Nokia, is still only a phone camera and can't capture the subtleties of a better quality device.

    True, a hot summer should mean more sugar in the apples. You are juggling acid, sugar and tannin to create the perfect cider, and in my case too much acid is the real enemy because it makes the cider less palatable.

    Absolutely, but you'll never meet anyone connected with the countryside who's happy with the weather!

    Here's visible evaporation yesterday after heavy rain:

  5. Well, the lack of rain is good for the Wreck, I suppose. Rain, acid rain, that is, did a number on my wreck in no time at all when I was living on the east coast of the USA.

    I do hope you have a good crop and I do intend to check out the cider. Not this coming summer but maybe next...


  6. Suggest end of summer, late Aug, early Sep. Unless you want all your suspicions about British rain confirmed :)