Enjoying Longney’s apples

posted in: apples, Longney, orchard | 0

A couple of pictures from Tobias Reynolds, an award winning Gloucester-based photographer, showing his wife and baby enjoying the apple crop at Longney.  Right-click the images to open full size in a new tab.

For more on Tobias’ work visit his website www.moochuk.com

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Apple Day, 21st October

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It’s Apple Day, as usual, on 21st October!

National Apple Day 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.  The Covid restrictions this year mean that there are rather fewer events than usual but some are still taking place and, if there are none near you, you can always celebrate at a local level in your own garden!

https://ptes.org/campaigns/traditional-orchard-project/orchard-network/apple-day/

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

 

Harvesting at Longney

posted in: apples, harvest, Juice, orchard | 0
Picking Kingston Black at Longney

The Longney harvest is shared between several juicing and cider makers – including long-standing GOT supporters from both Days Cottage and Trust Juice.

 

These pictures are from Helen at Days Cottage, showing some of their harvest work a week or so ago:

 



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Celebration of Apples at Rockness Orchard  

posted in: apples, Juice, orchard, volunteers | 0

The Rockness Orchard Group had a very successful socially-distanced juicing day on 12th September.   The weather was kind and four groups of people took up five slots on the day (one group had a double slot).

Lots of credit to Fiona, who mobilised a number of local people into collaborating and participating in the day.

Pictures and words from Joy Way

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DNA Fingerprinting update – a review and update

posted in: apples, dna, identification, varieties | 0

Ainsleigh Rice from the Marcher Apple Network has recently written a very interesting and useful review of the DNA Fingerprinting initiative for us.

He explains how DNA fingerprinting can work, using marker pairs of DNA sequences, and gives some examples.  It’s complicated – you will need to concentrate!  And he goes on to discuss what this can (or cannot) tell us about each variety’s parentage.

The full text – as a pdf – can be read below or downloaded via this link.

Click to access Malus-Parentage-from-DNA-for-GOT-15Sep20.pdf

Another Update to Apples of Gloucestershire

Jim Chapman has produced another update to the summary of how the DNA project has changed our understanding of our local apple varieties.

The new version has sorted out references to the National Fruit Collection and the Register of Local Cultivars, but also includes a few minor corrections.

The new Apple document, dated July 2020 is available here.

The most recent equivalent for Pears, dated December 2019, is available here.

For more information on all this research click here.

Blossom time for pears, not yet for apples…

posted in: apples, blossom, mistletoe, orchard, pears | 0

Most of Gloucestershire’s traditional orchards are a mix of apples, pears and some plums – and this becomes particularly obvious, some distance away, at flowering time with the pears flowering first.

We can’t get out much at the moment because of the coronavirus restrictions but here are a few pictures (slideshow below) of the orchard at Standish Court, just south of Gloucester, taken yesterday and showing how the pear blossom picks out the pears from the apples.

In this particular orchard the contrast is heightened by the abundance of mistletoe – which grows readily on apple trees but rarely on pears.  So the apples are covered in mistletoe, the pears are covered in blossom.

Note too that there have been some recent losses – trees blown over – and that this may well be due, at least in part, to too much mistletoe.

 

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DNA analysis of local varieties – our part in the national review – and an update

We have, as many will know, been taking part in a national initiative using DNA analysis to rationalise and better understand local varieties – how they relate (literally!) to one another and whether some are identical to others.  And, where they are identical to others with differing names (perhaps in other areas) which name should take precedent,

This has been a challenging project, requiring leaf samples from named varieties being sent to labs, particularly East Malling Research centre in Kent, for analysis.  The project is not ours – though several people from the GOT committee are involved and we are significant contributors of samples – it is a national initiative we are helping with.  Updates on progress overall can be found on the FruitID website’s help pages: https://www.fruitid.com/index.html#help – click on Register of LocalCultivars for documentation.

But where, after 3 years or so of work, have we got to in Gloucestershire?

Well, we do now have new and revised lists of Gloucestershire apple and pear varieties – some details of which rock the boat a little – we have fewer ‘Gloucestershire’ varieties than we thought!  But that’s to be expected when everything is compared using DNA – there are bound to be matches and competing claims.

The revised listings (as at the end of November 2019) are now available on the varieties part of our website – https://glosorchards.org/home/fruitvarieties/research/
(Update:  the documentation there has been revised – in December 2019 (Pears) and February 2020 (Apples) since this posting – the original files available on the link have now been deleted and replaced by the updated ones)

Display boards installed at Longney Orchard

Our display boards are now installed in the barn at Longney – following sterling work by Stuart, Pete, Ann and Keith who had to battle quite a lot of mud to get onto the site.  Our thanks to all of them.

These are the boards used at the Folk Museum two years ago – always intended for Longney afterwards, and now they’re there!

Picture by Pete Smith

Juicing at COCO on the Glos/Worcs border

posted in: apple day, apples, Juice, orchard | 0

On Sunday 20th October 2019 members of Conderton and Overbury Community Orchard (COCO) gathered to press some of the juices of their fruit crop.

Lots of the young trees planted by the group were weighed down with fruit which was particularly good to see and the juice was sweet!

Juicing equipment was provided by Kemerton Orchard Workers – the next village – for a small donation to their fund.

For more info on COCO visit http://www.overbury.org/coco

 

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