Wednesday, 19 October 2011

crabapples anyone?

I could open a shop - just with crabapples, at least for a while:)) I am picking and picking and making juice, but the trees don't look as if I picked much at all. if I had a very small garden with only one tree in it - it would have to be the crab apple "Evereste"! in spring you get a cloud of white-pink flowers - and towards autumn the small apples shine red in the sun (if there is any that is:)). I wouldn't recommend eating them, they are small and extremely acidic - but they are brilliant for juice or a jelly, pinkish, when the apples were allowed to ripen fully. ok, you can get a darker reddish jelly if you use "Red Sentinel", and it looks really pretty - but the apples are the size of cherries and you'd need a whole orchard full of them to get enough apples:))
another two buckets full, one only evereste, the other has another variety at the bottom, looks similar, just less red - forgot the name, we have quite a few of them:)) golden hornet has yellow apples, as the name says, but they are quite early and this year they have some sort of scab. don't look terribly inviting, so I just use the nice ones - choosy:)) the rest of the apples are a few eaters, very small, nothing much on the tree, there never is (bad location I think!). the rest of the green ones are cider apples, I'll use them to make more juice, by steaming them....the small bucket in front contains ornamental quinces, which are extremely hard and quite small - but have a sensational scent and make a lovely jelly or jam, if you can be bothered to push the pulp through a sieve. I usually add cinnamon and or cloves - yummy for winter! the small brown "things" represent our pear harvest.... no words necessary?:)) 
when the weather is reasonable (we only had a few light showers today!) I am outside, but if not - I'll keep the dye pot going. remember the not very exciting yellow I managed with alderbuckthorn berries in cold vinegar? the one at the bottom... I thought I'd give it another try, picked a handful more of the berries and heated it all up with some water, too. I added alum mordanted wool - and bingo, I got a lovely green, which was very hard to catch with the digicam. it's bright and "shiny", if wool can be called that. at the bottom of the upper left pic you see the original yellow - didn't like it, put it into the pot again - at least it's green now and not another not very nice yellow:)) not the colour you can get on silk (right), but better than nothing. anyway, this was it from the rhamnus tree - I hope for a better harvest next year!
I also spun more purple - see the header picture. it's half wool, half silk, dyed with logwood on alum... on the knitting front I managed a bit of progress with the Moiraine scarf, but not much to show really. and I did a few "fillings" on my house hanging.... not terribly productive but all the "topping and tailing" of the tiny apples takes quite some time! 


Nina said...

We had oodles of pears this year but no raspberries.. go figure the weird weather. Good thing you tried that alderbuckthorn again because that green is sensational! Don't you just love it when you get results like that! The crab apples sound like a lot of work, but worth it in the end for that jelly and juice.

Jana Muchalski said...

Huhu, Bettina! Was ist alderbuckthorn? Das Grün ist schön. Ich finde ja die Pflanzenfärbungen immer besonders reizvoll, die kein Gelb ergeben. ;)
Aus den kleinen Zieräpfelchen - wir haben einige Bäume in der Klinik - hab ich auch gerade Gelee gekocht. Sehr aromatisch!

Herzliche Grüße und einen gemütlichen Abend wünscht

Woolly Bits said...

Nina - yes, natural dyeing can be very disappointing sometimes, but more often I am delighted with the results:)) esp. when I expect to get yuck and end up with a bright green! and even though the 2nd batch is slightly lighter, it's still a bright green:)) the crabapples really taste good in jelly, luckily they don't have to be peeled and cored!:))

Jana - alderbuckthorn ist rhamnus frangula (oder frangula alnus) oder faulbaum. der baum wird nicht sehr gross, traegt aber meist sehr viele beeren und kann super zum faerben benutzt werden. die unreifen beeren ergeben gelb, reif und frisch ergeben sie dunklere gruentoene auf wolle und so ein taubenblau wie im bild auf seide! und sind fuer beeren sogar recht lichtecht. mit der rinde kann man auch faerben.... das helle leuchtendgruen war eine ueberraschung, weil die mischung essig/beeren kalt nur das nicht so tolle gelb ergab, und erhitzt dann so eine ueberraschung:)) und ja, das mit dem gelb geht mir genauso - zumal mir gelb garnicht steht....und da gibt es auch wirklich schoenere als das schmutzige ergebnis mit den beeren:))
weiter mit gefuehlten millionen von aepfelchen:))


Delighted Hands said...

Ahhh, nothing like apple picking time! The dye batches this time are a high five-beautiful!

Judy said...

That would take a long time to top all of those apples! The jelly sounds delicious.

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - no picking today, it's raining again! actually the picking gets easier now, because a lot of the leaves have dropped and I just have to run my hands along the branches to strip the little "bullets"!

Judy - I think I'll finish with the apples after those buckets - plenty of jelly - and probably still another 10 or more buckets on the one tree alone - never mind the other 2-3 trees:)) I think we'll have to start drinking (and making) cider at some stage - but for now the birds will enjoy the leftovers during winter!

Leigh said...

First, I have to say that green is my favorite color!

Second, I envy all those crabapples! I planted a tree last fall, hopefully one of these days I'll get enough to make jelly and pectin.

Elke Schwarzer said...

Danke für deinen Kommentar, musste sehr über die "Schnapsdrosseln" lachen. Die Äpfelchen vom Glden Hornet sehen ab Oktober auch schon weitgehend braun und matschig aus, ich glaube daher, dass ich keinen weiteren Wodka ansetzen kann dieses Jahr. Red Sentinel sieht bestimmt schön aus, wenn das dann roten Likör gibt!