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

The Gloucestershire Cider Box for Christmas

If you’re looking for an unusual, tasty (and educational) gift to give this Christmas why not support some of our local orchards and buy the Gloucestershire Cider Box?  This is available from our friends at Bushel & Peck (run by David Lindgren, based in Winchcombe) and Orchard Revival (run by Tim Andrews, based in North Nibley).

About the case:

12 bottles of Gloucestershire cider and perry ciders from 6 Gloucestershire based cider-makers.  All are real, full juice ciders, a showcase of the quality and diversity of cider that’s available Gloucestershire, covering different styles of cider, with different fruit varieties from different locations.

A tutored tasting with The Ciderologist:

The case comes with links to an online tutored tasting with Gabe Cook, the Ciderologist. The case has two bottles of each cider, one you can drink during the tutored tasting and one to enjoy at your leisure, before or after.  The online session will take place on 17th December on Zoom but will be recorded for access afterwards.  So you don’t have to drink all six at once!

The case contains 2 each of:

BUSHEL+PECK: Fresh+Crisp; cider, an Eastern Counties-style cider made from unsprayed eating apples. Simple and refreshing. 2 x 500ml

DUNKERTONS: Breakwell’s Seedling; organic single variety cider. A fragrant and fruity sparkling medium dry cider. 2 x 500ml

JOLTER PRESS: Squeal; rich and flavourful medium sweet cider made from a variety of cider apples from the Forest of Dean. 2 x 500ml

ORCHARD REVIVAL: Festival; a popular blended West Country cider made from cider, dessert and culinary fruit.  Made by a small cider-maker in South Gloucestershire who is dedicated to restoring traditional orchards. 2 x 500ml

SEVERN CIDER: Perry; a delicate and crisp perry, made predominantly from Blakeney Red perry pears from this well-established cider-maker, located close to the River Severn. 2 x 330ml

THE WILD CIDER CO: Tyndale Gold; fruity aromatic cider pressed using a complex blend of cider apples picked from orchards under the watchful gaze of the Tyndale Monument. 2 x 500ml

 

Order from either Bushel & Peck or from Orchard Revival or from Wild Cider. Price per case is £36.50 plus £8.50 shipping (though local delivery may be available free, see links for details)

Or, if you don’t want the full case, why not look at all the other ciders and perrys on offer – there are links to all the 6 cider makers in the listing above and most have online shops.

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

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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