Easter news from Longney

The pears (and the blackthorn and plums) are now in bloom, and we’ll post pictures of some of those soon, but today here are some more general pictures and news, highlighting recent work by students from the Apperley Centre in Stonehouse who visit regularly on Mondays and Wednesday mornings:

Martin Hayes, who supervises the students on site, explains the scarecrows:

Meet Sheila and Madoc, the Orchard Guardians or, their more common name, scarecrows.  These two handsome beasts were made by students from the Apperley Centre in Stonehouse.  They are guarding the wildflower seeds we have planted.  Last years wildflowers were eaten by the sheep that were let in when ramblers left the gates open!!

Other pictures below include the new bug hotel, also built with student help, some general views of hedgerow blossom and, the recently fallen ancient willow pollard, dead for some time but toppled by winter storms:

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Spring! Blossom time in orchards soon.

posted in: blossom, orchard, varieties | 0

Lockdown beginning to relax, and blossom time very soon.  Lots to look forward to.

And there’s blossom already underfoot (careful where you tread!).  Here are some pics of the wild daffodils at Vell Mill Meadow, which is also (since 2011) an orchard, near Dymock.

It’s a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Reserve, primarily for being one of the best local daffodil meadows (for which the area is famous).

But it’s also perfect for an orchard so GWT planted it up 10 years ago, with wide-spacing to keep the daffodil interest.

There’s a mix of local varieties of apple, pear and plum.

Pears and plums will be flowering very soon…

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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.

Little Owl boxes (re)installed at Longney

The Little Owl boxes in our Longney Orchards have now all been erected in trees around the site, including the box whose original tree fell in strong winds earlier this year.

The boxes, kindly donated by the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group, were mounted on fruit trees and a pollarded willow at GOT’s Longney Orchards.

Thanks to Stuart and Pete who installed them all and to John Fletcher who advised on locations. They are level, even though they may not look so in the pictures!

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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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Topping under the trees at Longney

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Much of the orchard at Longney has been grazed this year but there’s still a need to cut some of the site.

As these pictures show the shepherd has recently made a very good start on topping with their own tractor (New Holland with a Rhino 3-bladed topper).

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Apple Day, 21st October

posted in: apple day, apples, orchard | 0

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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Creative Sustainability’s Longney Camp 2020

Here’s an inspiring report on this year’s Longney Orchard camp from the Creative Sustainability organisation. This local Community Interest Company organise (amongst many other things) camping weekends and day camps for disadvantaged young people, including disabled, refugees and asylum seekers.

Most of their camping programme had to be cancelled this year because of the Covid restrictions so the Longney event was particularly important this time.

Some quotes from the report:

‘I haven’t been into the countryside since I came to England, I don’t know where to go, whether I am welcome or safe or whether I have permission, or where I can walk’

‘This is the first sunset I’ve seen since coming to England’

‘..I found myself daydreaming of home before it became unsafe, for the first time. Normally I have nightmares. It’s being here at the orchard. It’s so peaceful – I slept well.’

‘I can see my home all around…(he pointed around the orchard as he spoke) these fruit trees, some crops, the muddy track, homes where my family, friends, aunties and uncles live, someone sleeping under the trees, the smell of cooking, goats here, chickens over there, camels and cows here’

‘It made me remember to live’

You can read the full report below or click here to download it. For more information on Creative Sustainability click here.

Click to access Report-for-Orchard-Trust.pdf

 

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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