Apple Day will mark 20 years for the community orchard

September 28 2018
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It’s the 20th anniversary of Horfield Organic Community Orchard this year and to celebrate everyone is invited to Apple Day on Sunday 21 October, 2-4pm.

Entrance is free and donations of your surplus apples for juicing are welcome.

Horfield Organic Community Orchard began life as a project of Avon Organic Group in 1998. This year in particular has been marred by pests, diseases, and disorders caused by drought however the figs, quinces, and grapes have flourished. Sunshine, and fewer fruits on the trees, has intensified the flavours of early apples - not ordinarily noted for their complex palate. The main apple and pear crop isn’t abundant, although it promises to be tasty.

There were plenty of firsts this year. Mature trees needed watering for the first time since they were planted. Hand-watering more than 100 fruiting trees has been back breaking. The young trees on the Home Orchard Plot would have died without weekly watering.

The new Orchard Learning 2018 programme is something to celebrate. A group of 12 learners, many new to the orchard, have met monthly to study and care for the soil and the trees. They will be on hand at Apple Day on 21 October - happy to answer fruit growing questions, and share what they have learned during a very challenging growing year.

Shannon Smith, the course tutor, said feedback from participants has been very positive: “They tell me they’ve enjoyed their Tree Buddies – named trees worked with over the year. It seems my holistic approach also inspires a fresh way to look at and care for fruit trees,” she said.

Shannon will be offering one-day and weekend Orchard Learning courses next year. Find out more at this year’s Apple Day - a fun and fruit-filled community celebration.

To find the orchard (nearest postcode BS7 8JP) walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Road & Kellaway Avenue), turn left and it’s the first gate on the right. OR  Take the lane beside 134 Longmead Avenue until you come to the last gate on the left.

For more information see the website www.community-orchard.org.uk, call 0117 373 1587 or email hocohello@gmail.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Jamie Carstairs