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This apple’s a real wonder

Barrie James’s giant Howgate Wonder apples.

Barrie James’s giant Howgate Wonder apples.

Richard Wright

[email protected]

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 13:30

CONRAD Guntlett has been crushed by the community response to his charity juicing appeal — in a good way.
A spin-off benefit of this year’s bounteous apple harvest has been his Community Crush appeal has been well supported.
In short, his Rosemary Vineyard at Smallbrook Lane is all juiced up.
For the rest of today (Friday) and the weekend, people have a last opportunity to take their apples for juicing, pasteurising and bottling. People have brought their apples in large and small quantities for juicing over the past few weeks — half the juice going to the vineyard and half going to the donor in return for a £1 per litre bottle donation.
This has helped two charities and it benefits simply everyone involved and cuts some of the waste we see every autumn.
One windfall you would not want landing in your lap, or anywhere else, is the Howgate wonder apple.
It is an excellent cooker and produced a tangy juice too and, as most gardeners know, it is a whopper.
Photographs of by no means the largest but still very impressive fruit were sent to me by Barrie and June James, of Collingwood Road, Shanklin.
Barrie said: “One of our neighbours, who has lived in her house since she was a child in the 1930s, recently gave us some windfall apples.
“The tree, a Howgate wonder, was planted before the Second World War.
“A couple of the apples were somewhat large, so my wife decided to weigh them before cutting them up.
“One weighed in at 1.25lb and the other at 1.5lb, which was mighty impressive.”
The tale of the Howgate wonder is a well-known one but worthy of repetition if it encourages others to grow this tree, which is widely available.
Howgate wonder is a former holder of the world record, which currently stands at 4lb 1oz — nearly half a pound heavier than the biggest Howgate.
Howgate wonder, as the name suggests, began life in 1915, raised by retired gardener and former policeman George Wratten from Newtown Wonder and Blenheim Orange.
The tree was felled in the nineties but neighbours still remember its boughs unsurprisingly touching the ground at harvest time.
More information on Howgate wonder and many other apple varieties is at www.gardenappleid.co.uk

 


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