Longney Apple Pruning and Orchard Maintenance Workshop 11th January 2022

Martin Hayes is leading workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn) 10am-3pm or whatever time you can spare. Pandemic permitting.

No charge for GOT members. More details will be sent later to those who are interested. The morning session will either be pruning medium sized trees (no ladders) or helping to maintain the trees in other ways.

Then switch over in the afternoon.

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves and boots. Thank you! Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit will not be pruned – only May to September on dry days for plums and cherries to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

Please book through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk

Places will be limited. We look forward to seeing you!

 

News from Longney

Updates on the latest at our Longney orchards where we have new fencing, plus improved plumbing and water troughs.  And some new signage too. These would have been shown to everyone at our open day but unfortunately that was cancelled.  Sorry to all those disappointed but we hope these pictures will show some of the changes and, if you’re visiting, explain what’s what.

The latest works have been carried out for us by our neighbour Roger Godwin, whose farm team (Henry plus others) fitted in the works before harvest time. We had several long-standing issues to resolve, mainly improving plumbing to each of the four orchards and installing new fencing at the barn compound to reduce the chance of sheep getting in accidentally.

As a result we now have working, and plumbed in, water troughs in all the orchards (only two were plumbed in before) with all troughs compliant with current standards. This means the sheep will have a reliable supply wherever they are.

At the barn there is now a new fence isolating the compound from the Bollow/Long Tyning gates, so that livestock can pass freely between those two orchards without accessing the barn area.  This will, we hope, eliminate the occasional problem with sheep in the barn area, which is used for school groups and events.  We don’t want to put off visitors through, so there is a new pedestrian gate into the compound, spring-loaded to help ensure it’s kept shut!

The work by Roger’s team also included laying a water line to the toilet (not yet plumbed in) in case we want to have washing water there and, inside the secure store, a small handwashing basin for use by anyone attending events.

Not forgetting the scraping out of the seasonal pond areas in Middle and Lower orchards.

In addition to all this work we have also been improving some signage, in particular at the Fish House, where there is a new sign explaining the building, and our philosophy on how to manage it.

 

There are more pictures below showing all of these changes.  We are very grateful to Roger G and colleagues for their work on the plumbing and fencing.  And, as usual, Stuart Smith for his continuing work managing the whole area, including the new signs (thanks Juliet Bailey for help with those too) and Ann Smith for coordinating everything.  Pictures are by Ann and Stuart and also Jonathan Briggs.

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CANCELLED Longney Orchard Open Afternoon 12th September

This event is cancelled.

Sunday 12th September 2021 at 12-4pm,

Open to all. We welcome everyone, especially Longney locals, Longney schoolchildren and GOT members/families and volunteers. Browse the progress made with the mature and young orchards of Gloucestershire varieties and display boards. Juice, cider and perry for sale! BBQ but bring a picnic lunch and something to sit on (we have limited benches and chairs), suitable footwear (ground is uneven). There is a composting loo and running cold water. Please bring your own handsanitizer.

The site is part of the Severn Way. The Public Right of Way can be accessed from the white railings in Longney. No vehicular access. Please park at the lower end of Yew Tree Farm or sensibly in the road, being courteous to our neighbours. There are sheep in the orchard so any dogs must be kept on leads and keep gates closed please. We have a first aid kit and one of our committee is first aid trained.

Please check the GOT website glosorchards.org nearer the time for any changes (eg national covid-19 restrictions or bad weather).

We will also celebrate twenty years since GOT was founded.

Wassail, wassail, all over Gloucestershire

It’s wassailing time in many of our local orchards and we have a number of events already on the website.

You can see the full list here:  https://glosorchards.org/home/events/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=list&tribe-bar-date=2020-01-01&tribe-bar-search=wassail

Do have a look and come along to one – and if your event isn’t listed let us know and we’ll add it!

The image below is the Stroud Wassail Song – which you may hear at some of the events:

Apple Days = Apple Cakes

We’re in the middle of Apple Day season – but instead of just another picture of people and apples, here’s a mouth-watering picture of some of the Apple (and Pear and Quince) Cakes on offer at the Days Cottage Apple Day last weekend.

There’s something for everyone at an Apple Day!

 

Apple Days galore, even in Gloucester City

It’s apple picking time and there are events all over the county to celebrate the harvest and customs of traditional orchards.  Many are billed as ‘Apple Day’ a concept established by the charity Common Ground way back in 1990.  Read more about that on their website at http://www.commonground.org.uk/apple-day/   Many Gloucestershire Apple day events are listed on our website on the Events pages at  https://glosorchards.org/home/events/category/allevents/

One particularly exciting event, in the centre of Gloucester itself, is at the Folk of Gloucester (Formerly the Folk Museum) where Gloucester Civic Trust will be hosting the Annual Apple day on Saturday 19th of October 2019 from 10am to 4pm. It will be a Celebration of Gloucestershire Apples and Cider Making.

Come and see Rosie the Cider horse, who is coming for the first time this year to help turn the apple mill and make Apple Day in Gloucester a success. She is taking over from Fergus who has now retired after five years of service.

“This is one of the last fully operational horse powered apple mills in the West Country” said Alex Bailey, Chairman of the Operations Team at The Folk, “and we are very fortunate that we can still demonstrate how it works”

There will also be a chance to try some rare breed apples provided by Gloucestershire Orchard Trust and they will be there to sell apple juice and ciders and provide advice on looking after your own apple trees.

There will be lots of Children’s activities available and Morris Dancers from Lassington Oak performing and giving Morris Dancing workshops.

We will have live music from a folk band and Bygonz performing at the event too.

For extra refreshment there will be Severn Cider running a bar with some of their favourite craft ciders available to buy.

This is a preview event for the Folk of Gloucester (Formerly Folk Museum) which is opening in Spring 2020 and will be an exhibition and events space housed in a large Tudor building in Lower Westgate, Gloucester. It will tell the story of Gloucester Folk from Tudor Times to the Modern Day.

The Folk will be operating a café during the event offering Teas, Coffees, Ciders and soft drinks.

Full Press Release is available here: https://glosorchards.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Apple-Day-Press-Release-2019.pdf

World Record for Perry Pears (again!)

Congratulations to Jim Chapman, who, at the National Perry Pear Centre’s Open Afternoon in Hartpury last weekend, displayed 108 varieties of Perry Pear, a World Record. Comfortably beating his own previous record of 97 varieties last year. Most were from the National Perry Pear Centre’s own Hartpury orchards, augmented by a few from Malvern.

You missed it? Don’t worry, you can see the display again next weekend in the Orchard Pavilion at the Malvern Autumn Show. Jim will be on hand to identify any perry pears you may like to bring. A donation is asked for to help the Trust’s work at the Centre.

And GOT’s own stand will be nearby with a Gloucestershire apple display, tasting opportunities for selected (ripe) apple varieties and juice for sale plus tree advice.

Harvest, and show, time

With Apple Day looming and the apple and pear crop ripening rapidly – some varieties earlier than others of course – it is time to think about orchard events and shows.

We have many listed on the website – including many dates for Apple Day – an event originally set as being October 21st by Common Ground (see http://commonground.org.uk/projects/orchards/apple-day/) but, not surprisingly, now spread out across many early autumn weekends.

Do have a look at the events list on the website – and let us know if you want your event added. The events page is at https://glosorchards.org/home/events/category/allevents/

The next event we’ll be at will be Malvern Autumn Show – this coming weekend – more about that soon…

Days Cottage Blossom day brings in the crowds

Everyone enjoyed the magnificent apple blossom at Days Cottage Blossom afternoon last Sunday, 5th May.

Members, visitors and Stroud Farmers Market friends attended the event at at the Orchard & Rural Skills Centre, home not just of the Gloucestershire varieties of apple but also varied mature and young orchards and a forest garden.  Apple cakes and hot spiced apple juice were enjoyed in the cosy yurt.  Days Cottage juice, cider and perry and orchard honey and trees were for sale.  There was needle felting craft for children.

GOT committee were on hand to sell orchard-related books, hand out literature and chat about orchards.

We owe many thanks to Jane Willoughby who is turning up weekly (and today) to continue formally recording the blossom on the Museum Orchard Gloucestershire apple varieties for the Fruitid.com website.

Pictures by Ann Smith:

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