A record hot summer burned the first fruit of my apple tree – and left a bad taste in my mouth | Anthony N Castle

We grow things, invest, make decisions today to benefit the future. But has the climate emergency put an end to that?

There is an apple in my imagination, a memory. I can still picture the first moment I saw it in the scorching dusk, the first fruit of a tree my partner and I had planted just two years before. The sapling had taken root in the loamy clay of our garden and grown upwards over two hot summers and two dry winters. Now, it was bearing fruit, not yet ripe, and rough to the touch, but an apple nonetheless. The first of many.

We had planted the tree for the children we didn’t yet have, knowing it could come to bear fruit as they grew. It was an investment in our environment for the good of our children, an investment in their future, but we found that apple among the stones of the garden bed not long after. It had fallen, burned on the branch, scorched on one side.

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The memory of our first apple tells me that the threat to my children is already here

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