Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fungi Forays, Home-Made Apple Press

At last we seem to having a glimpse of the Indian Summer that the BBC keep talking about. When the rest of the country has bathed in gloious autumn sunshine we have had grey skies and damp air. However, today things have improved and the Sons have begun mowing grass for various neighbours to make silage. A busy few days are ahead of us.

With the damp weather it has been a bonanza time for fungi. On my daily walks with the dogs I have found many different varieties around the farm. I have taken pictures of many of them but identification is difficult. I think most of them are boletes, but further than that I cannnot go except to say that I think I found what are known as Plums and Custard and the deliciously malevolent sounding  Amethyst Deceiver. I have seen a number of enormous fly agarics and greasily yellow waxcaps. Apart from the large, easily seen fungi in the hedge banks there are also many tiny delicately gilled toadstools to be found in the fields of all shades from creamy white to dusky grey. I did find some field mushrooms yesterday but they seem to be few & far betweeen this year for some reason. I am certainly not confident enough to eat any of the other types of fungi , though according to the books many of them are edible.  We have eaten puff-balls & parasols in the past & I know shaggy ink-caps are supposed to be delicious, but I do prefer field mushrooms or cultivated shiitake!

The Farmer has spent  a great deal of time over the last few days in the orchards  up a step ladder harvesting apples. There has been a superb crop this year and in order to maintain our winter intake of vitamins most of the fruit is being juiced and then frozen. Also a lot of cider is being made!
One day when we are in funds I would like us to get a small pasteuriser rather than keeping the juice in the deep freeze. However until that time freezing will have to do.
The Farmer has built himself a fruit press which looks rather splendid and is very effective.

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