ENGAGE WITH GAGES | Pocketmags.com

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This is a fruit often overlooked mainly due to gardeners not knowing what it has to offer. Professional nurseryman and fruit expert David Patch suggests we are all missing out on a real sweetie
The ‘Cambridge Gage’ is a reliable cropper

When choosing a new fruit tree to plant, there are certain things I always bear in mind, the first being: is the fruit expensive or hard to find in the shops (such as mulberries and quince)? No point in giving valuable garden space to fruit which can be bought cheaply and easily. Next, the fruit must be utterly delicious. It motivates me to do all the menial upkeep, like winter washing and checking greasebands, if I know the reward at the end is worthwhile. And finally, if there is a little history involved or a good anecdote, all the better. If there is one fruit that gives a resounding ‘yes’ to all of these, it is the gage. When at their peak, they have a very short shelf-life, so you might be lucky enough to find them at a farmers’ market, but generally the big supermarkets don’t carry them. The fruit is divine, rich and sugary and described by the Victorian fruit expert Robert Hogg as ‘tender, melting…most delicious flavour’. As for history…stones found on a shipwreck, confusion over who introduced them to the UK and the favourite fruit of a 16th century French queen. Gentle reader, read on!

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

In this month's issue of Kitchen Garden... - Win gardening goodies Instant garden borders & more worth £1325 - Curry night grown by you - For the love of veg 10 pages of red hot growing advice - 27 big crops for tiny plots - Veggies from a jam jar - Prepare for spring 3 pages of essential top tips - 10 ways to boost your harvest - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall