The BBC news website featured traditional orchards last week, timed to coincide with Apple Day.
It highlighted the work being carried out to conserve orchards, and traditional varieties, locally and regionally in Somerset and Gloucestershire The article also highlighted the work of PTES and the Orchard Network nationally.
For Gloucestershire both GOT and the Wildlife Trust were mentioned, discussing local sites and the work being done to find and conserve local varieties.
Have you been to an Apple Day this season yet? Many of our local events have happened already (click on our Past events tab to see these), but some are still to come.
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 was initially set as 21st October but, in practice, the date is variable depending on which area you’re in and what orchard group is doing what.
It 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.
This is part of the Gloucestershire collection – there will 90 varieties altogether of which 45 are Gloucestershire ones from the Days Cottage Museum Orchard.
Here are a few of the Gloucestershire varieties, starting with the delightfully named Hen’s Turds, followed by Gloucester Royal and then Ben Lans. Such beautiful fruit this year:
the next picture shows the genetic instability of Siddington Russet…you can see 2 heavily russeted apples and 2 smooth green ones all on the same branch!
And lastly Cambridge Queening…a gorgeous apple from Cambridge, the village south of Gloucester on the A38. It is the best variety for making Tarte Tatin. Helen writes that they had a chef at one of their Apple Days who made lots of Tarte Tatins with different varieties and Cambridge Queening won the taste test hands down! Also known as Cambridge Quoining…thought to be from the angled shape reflecting quoin stones used on the corners of buildings.
Big Apple, the orchard association for the Much Marcle area, is holding its annual Harvestime weekend on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October.
Nine venues are ready to welcome visitors to Much Marcle over the two days.
The venues have plenty to offer visitors. There will be opportunities to enjoy the local orchards, see, hear and smell cider and perry being made and taste and buy many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices.
Watch us talk about the work we do restoring traditional orchards in Gloucestershire on BBC Gardeners World. Over the last 50 years Gloucestershire has lost over 75% of these amazing habitats. Here at Orchard Revival we prune and re-plant these traditional orchards and more importantly share orchard skills so others can do it too.
The segment was filmed in the beautiful Pocketts Orchard, in Whitminster where we help lead orchard restoration for the Cotswold Canals Connected project and the Gloucestreshire Wildlife Trust as part of the Stroudwater canal restoration.
This year’s apple celebrations at Days Cottage will be on Sunday 16 October 2022, 1-4pm.
Apple Day Afternoon with Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith, www.dayscottage.co.uk Upton Lane, Brookthorpe, GL4 0UT.
Mulled apple juice, lovely apple and pear themed cakes, family event, music, heritage fruit to try and buy, rare trees for sale. Buy juice, cider and perry from unsprayed fruit. Now is a chance to chat to Dave and Helen about your orchard/fruit questions. But they do get busy!
Browse their mature and young orchards, bring a picnic. Walk around the Museum Orchard of rare Gloucestershire varieties. Maps available (please return). Signage will be out.
Bring a few representative samples for identification and a small amount (two carrier bags) for juicing at the farm. Small charge for the latter. Only a small number of representative samples please!
One way system in operation. Yurt and roundhouse. Forest garden to explore.
They also run a rolling programme of Pruning, Grafting and Bud-Grafting workshops here in winter and summer. These will be advertised on the Days Cottage and GOT websites.
Dave Kaspar identifying apples at his and Helen’s Days Cottage Apple Afternoon in October.
The DNA Fingerprinting Scheme for apples, pears and cherries in 2022 (the 7th year of the scheme) has been launched, and is open to anyone who wants their fruit tree to be fingerprinted.
The scheme is run with NIAB-EMR at East Malling in Kent providing DNA analysis through their laboratory and submissions co-ordinated by Peter Laws of fruitID.com.
The charge will be £27.60 plus VAT per sample.
if you have an apple, pear or cherry tree that you would like to be fingerprinted, and identified if it matches the fingerprint of a known cultivar, you will first need to complete a sample bag request form and return it to Peter Laws as soon as you can. Bags will be sent out in May and June. No money is required at this stage.