Local Food - News

We are starting some pages about apple flavours and the importance of expanding the relatively narrow range of apple which is grown in this country. See our starting page: Apple Flavours and Tastings. Other pages will be added.

18 Sep 2017

This orchard was planted in November 2016 and was made possible by funding from Greggs Ltd.

Here's a photo from the planting day; you can see the marking-out and holes dug for about 80 trees.

Eight months later the trees are getting established; the orchard looks like this:

As you can see, the site is well-maintained, and the trees are kept tidy by regular weeding, some of it by volunteers.

The orchard consists of a mixture of local and heritage apples, plums, damsons, cherries, pears and mulberries. Large trees which need more sun (the big cookers and the mulberry) are located on the left of the picture, at the back facing south, so they don't shade smaller trees.

We consider it important to maintain genetic diversity; it is not a good idea to focus on a narrow range of varieties. A varied collection offers many advantages; it extends the fruiting season for each kind of fruit and makes the orchard less vulnerable to pests. It also ensures reliability of fruiting; if one variety is frosted, there are plenty of others which flower either earlier or later.

Some of our early apples are shown below. We have others which will ripen much later; one variety is not ready to pick until New Year, and it stores until late May.

fig. 1: Leicestershire Sweetings; ripe on 12 July........... fig.2: Discovery, nearly ripe on 26 July

We are very grateful for the funding from Greggs; without it, the orchard would not exist.

Sarah, Sue, Nigel; 27 July 2017

Tues 22 Nov 2016: The orchard was marked out by Sue, Sarah, Sharon and Nigel, ready for the planting which will take place on Saturday (10-4).

It was a drizzly cold day; Sarah was in charge of the layout, and Sue measured up. The second picture shows Sarah and me attempting to construct a right angle with a tape measure; eventually we got it.

Marking out Botcheston Orchard in the rain ... Marking out Botcheston Orchard in the rain ...

If you are able to help on Saturday, please bring a mug (or you won't be able to collect your coffee and soup), and a camping chair. See you there.

22 Nov 16

ND / habitat21.

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