This is what my farming aunt Betty would call a popular apple. That’s what she says when you cut into the windfalls she has brought in for breakfast to find there’s something slimey and squishy already in there.

We’ve had our best apple harvest ever at Pond Cottage but picking the fruit is dangerous. What looks like a lovely rosy ball on one side turns out to be full of burrowing wasps on the other. We must have lost a quarter of the crop on the most productive tree.

So I had to break the rules Betty taught me about picking fruit. She says you know the apple is ready if it comes away easily when you cup and lift with a gentle twisting motion. Those pesky wasps don’t bother to wait till the fruit reaches that stage, they just buzz in whenever they feel like it.

Here’s one of three full baskets picked from one tree. There must be at least another basketfull rotting wasp-corrupted on the ground and the tree. I wish I knew what this variety of apple is called but our horticultural efficiency doesn’t rise to keeping notes of the trees we planted! I used to think it was a Pink Lady, now I’m not sure, does anyone out there know?