Martin visits Rockness Orchard

Martin Hayes, our advice-giving orchardist, reports on a recent visit to Rockness Orchard, a long-established community orchard GOT has recently become involved with:

A great day at Rockness Community Orchard ‘Stan’s Patch’.

The Gloucestershire Orchard Trust recently took the Orchard under its wings and a great partnership is ahead!

Fabulous cakes and biscuits with tea.

An orchardist’s life is tough!

And some appreciative feedback:

Defra announcement about the new Farming Investment Fund

An interesting piece of kit apparently available via the fund!  It’s a Fruit Ripeness Spectrometer – “Handheld device for use in orchards to determine produce quality and harvest timing. Uses NIR (Near Infra-Red) to determine and measure DM (Dry Matter), total soluble solids, titratable acidity, and colour to determine ripeness”  Probably not designed for our mixed variety traditional orchards!

Defra has recently launched the new Farming Investment Fund.

Much of it looks beyond the scope of your average orchard grower, but there are some things like electric fencing that might be useful.

 

This is the wording from their announcement:

We are very pleased to let you know that Defra has launched today, Tuesday 16th November, the new Farming Investment Fund which will offer funding for equipment, technology, and infrastructure that improves farm productivity and benefits the environment.

This fund will provide grants to farmers, foresters and growers (including contractors to these sectors) helping them to focus on more efficient production methods that will reduce resource costs, improve yields, and give them a better return. It will also support farmers who want to process and add value to their existing products, create new products, or sell their produce directly to consumers. 

The Farming Investment Fund offers funding for both smaller investments - The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and for larger investments – The Farming Transformation Fund. Today, we are opening applications for the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and for grants focused on the Water Management theme of the Farming Transformation Fund, which is dedicated to arable and horticultural businesses growing, or intending to grow, irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries.  Additional grants and themes will be made available as part of this fund in the future.

Please read our blog post and our press release to find more information about the available grants. For more background information we have a key messages document (available here). 

The Funds will open to applicants on Tuesday 16 November. The application deadline for the Farming, Equipment and Technology Fund will be 12:00 noon on 7th January 2022. The online checker for the Farming Transformation Fund will run until 12th January 2022, with the full application deadline on the 30th June 2022. 

Apple Grafting Workshop 19th February 2022

At Winterbourne Medieval Barn, Bristol, BS36 1SE

Booking essential – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/bristol/winterbourne-medieval-barn/apple-grafting-workshop/e-kvdqjb

Come and learn how to graft apple trees on this course under the tuition of Ben Raskin, a previous commercial fruit grower and an enthusiastic, effective and very knowledgeable teacher, now Head of Horticulture at The Soil Association.

Grafting is the process of propagating new trees. You take the scion wood which is a twig from a variety of apple tree that you like, and then fuse it to the rootstock. The rootstock is the branch or stem of another tree which has been selected for size, or tolerance of certain soil conditions. This way you can clone fruit varieties, guaranteeing that the fruit on the tree is as tasty as you want it to be!

You will learn why we graft, how to graft and put these skills into practice by forming at least three grafts that you can take away at the end of the day.

Everybody who has provided feed back from previous course has rated the course as excellent. Here are some quotes from previous attendees:
‘Learning a new skill that I feel confident I can use independently and that I came away with 4 trees that I have made’
‘Excellent information. Good guidance. Friendly and fun.’
‘Hands on, great support and encouragement throughout, taking part in an ancient practice.’
‘Friendly, no previous knowledge/experience required. Time for everyone, un-rushed and relaxed.’

We will provide some common varieties for grafting. If you have a favourite that you wish to propagate, then bring your own wood to graft. If there is a particular variety that you wish to graft but do not have the wood, please let us know and we will attempt to procure some wood for you. The only equipment you will need to bring is a very sharp knife (e.g. a Stanley Knife) and some secateurs.

Cost £45, tea coffee and biscuits will be provided, please bring your own lunch.

If you have any questions about this workshop, please contact Robert on 0117 957 4921.

Booking essential – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/bristol/winterbourne-medieval-barn/apple-grafting-workshop/e-kvdqjb

Happy Apple Day!

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Happy Apple Day!

National Apple Day, October 21st, was launched in 1990 by Common Ground. Their aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.

The concept has become incredibly successful over the 30 years since – with events taking place all over the country organised by local orchard and apple groups, across a range of dates throughout October.

Here in Gloucestershire there are many Apple Day themed events, some in the last few weeks, some in the next few weeks.  Have a look at the events section of our website to find an events near you.

https://www.commonground.org.uk/apple-day/

Leonard Stanley Community Orchard Apple Day 17th October 2021

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12 to 5pm, in the churchyard of St Swithuns, Leonard Stanley.  Free entry.
If you haven’t experienced an apple day before, its great fun for all ages and you don’t need to bring your own apples, but you can press them if you bring them.
We will have collected some apples from local orchards for people to have a go.
Please bring receptacles to take home your juice.
If you have suitable plastic containers (milk or soda bottles you will be able to freeze it too).
One trug full of apples produces 9-14 litres of juice.

Folk of Gloucester Apple Day 23rd October 2021

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10 am – 4 pm.

The Folk of Gloucester’s Annual Celebration of Apples and Cider making in Gloucestershire with over 30 apples found exclusively in Gloucestershire.

There will be a range of ciders to try and buy from Severn Cider. The cider mill will be open today.

Lassington Oak will be giving an insight in to Morris Dancing with Folk music playing throughout the building.

Orchard talk by Martin Hayes of Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.

The café will be open and there will be children’s activities throughout the day.

Free entry to all.  Details at https://www.gloucestercivictrust.org/the-folk/

Cotswold Canals Apple Appreciation Day, 21st October 2021

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Please join Cotswold Canals Trust to raise a jar or two for Gloucestershire’s Canalside Orchard

And to raise funds for the planting of 4km of sustainable hedgerows along the canal corridor. 🍺🌱

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Gloucestershire and Berkeley Vale CPRE have joined forces with Cotswold Canals Connected to sponsor 1km of hedgerow. This event will support the ongoing fundraising for the project.
What to expect from the event 👇
🍎 Cider tasting along with locally produced cheese. Kindly supported by Tim Andrews and Orchard Revival and Severn Cider
🍎 Talk to experts and hear first hand about the great work in orchard revival in Gloucestershire
🍎 Sponsor your very own Family Tree and be part of the regeneration of ancient Gloucestershire varieties
🍎 Meet local producers and be inspired by this county we call home.
Tickets cost £10pp and all funds raised will go towards the Cotswold Canals Connected Phase 1B biodiversity and Natural Environment project. 🌍

Winterbourne Medieval Barn Orchard Harvest Day, 10th October 2021

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Winterbourne Barn’s annual Orchard Harvest Day is back!  11am – 4pm on 10th October.

Visit the amazing Winterbourne Medieval Barn for a fun day out for all the family.

Celebrate the Great British Orchard with apple displays, and experts on hand to identify apple varieties. Enjoy entertainment from Terry Moules ferret-racing, and live music from Bygonz – music from a bygone age, and the Frampton Shantymen (among others). We’ll have a variety of artisan crafts traders and stalls from local groups. Plus plenty of kids activities throughout the day!

We’ll be serving locally sourced high quality food and drink all day.

A great day out with something for all ages!

Pre book tickets now! £5 adults, £1 children

Full details are at http://www.winterbournebarn.org.uk/event/orchard-harvest-day/

Drawing in the Orchard, 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th September

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Learn to draw in the beautiful, open air setting of Days Cottage Orchard, with experienced artist Liz Lancashire.

Four creative, relaxed sessions suitable for absolute beginners, with a chance to try new materials and different approaches to drawing.

Tuesdays 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th September, 2 – 4pm, £50.

Shelter provided in wet weather.

Call Liz on 07407 115043 to book your place, or contact liz@lancashirepillow.co.uk.

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