Emma Higgins - Printmaker

Emma Higgins - Printmaker
EmEmma Higgins - Printmakerma Higgins - Printmaker

Emma Higgins - Printmaker

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Whoop!... time to pick the medlars

We are very lucky to have a beautiful Medlar tree that grows in front of our cottage. It dates from 1857 and has a Preservation Order on it. Come November the leaves are a golden yellow and the Medlar fruits are ready to pick.
I took these photos first thing this morning... I love the autumnal colours. A fresh blue sky and sunshine!
This is a photo of the actual fruits, We have a bumper crop this year because we have had so much rain. Today's job is to pick them from the tree. After that they need to be stored until they have 'bletted' which is a posh word for the rotting process- sounds dubious I know, but they need to 'blet' before you can use them!
 Medlars are from the rosehip family and have a wonderfully, distinctive taste. We plan to use them to make wine again like we did last year, it was the first time we had ever made wine and we were astonished to find that it was delicious! I also made medlar jelly which also tasted great but was an almighty faff to make so I'll give it a miss this year. I recently found a recipe for medlar liquor which sounds like it might be worth a go!
This is a photo of the medlar tree in summer with my husband in the deckchair underneath.

My love of this tree and garden was the inspiration for one of my first lino prints. We moved here a year and a half ago but my grandparents lived here when I was a child so the tree has always seemed magical to me. The cottage that we live in was originally a stable that belonged to my My Great Great Grandad. He used to keep his horse called 'Tommy' in it.
This is my 'Medlar Tree' lino print. http://folksy.com/items/3213342-Medlar-tree-lino-print

My late Grandad, Michael Adams, also had a great love of this tree. As a child in the first world war he lived in a house in the next road, with a bedroom window overlooking the tree. In his later years, he wrote a novel called 'The Medlar Tree' which he described as 'An evocative love story set in South Devon.' I treasure my copy of his book.

 He died in 2002 so he didn't know that I would later move to live in his cottage. I often think of him when I'm bimbling in the garden, I'm sure he would have appreciated that we are putting the medlar fruits to good use!

The fruits of today's labour!! sorry for the pun : )