A month ago we took the bikes and empty rucksacks to Elwell Farm down the lanes between Beaminster and Bridport. It’s that time of year when the orchards are in full swing and you can go and pick your own delectable sugar straight off the tree. I struggle with encouraging my children to eat fruits. Problem is, it’s partly -or mainly- my fault because so do I. Give us a peach in Summer in the south of France and we fight over it, almost. I let them have the last one, obviously. But try and appreciate most fruits from the supermarket and it just does not work. Apples are rarely juicy, pears are either hard as rock or let to ripen and you wonder if you are eating a sponge dipped in fine sand. I won’t even start entering the food mile debate. We’re lucky our local greengrocer has wonderful local produce but I thought that getting the fruits from the trees at the end of a bike ride might just tickle the tastebuds of my sporty men, big and small.
A month on, I go down to the cellar where we have stored the pears and apples we picked and I am amazed. They have all gone. That’s over three kilos of fruit in four weeks. I was planning to make compotes but all I managed to bake or cook is one apple tart and a few sauces to help sausages and meat get closer to children’s tastebuds. Could be that every time a little friend comes round I get the children to tell them where they come from. And kids love it. That’s how the last few pears went yesterday, after football.
My favourite bit is that my 12 year old loved it so much he decided to take his mates there on his birthday. A bike ride with a sweet purpose. Bless the owner, he was not open for pick your own that day but he let the kids pick the fruits anyway. Dad bought a few more kilos and all came back with smiles on their faces. We sent the friends back home with a bag full of apples and pears. Isn’t that the best ‘thanks for coming to my party’ bag ever?