Once again Paul Chilton put on a display of 119 different varieties of heritage apple varieties at our Apple Day. Over 300 people came to see the display and taste 14 different types of apple that we had picked in gardens and orchards around the village. Plus quince, huge walnuts and medlars.
22 October 2023
19 September 2023
At last! Well done everyone for waiting. Our mid September varieties are ready to pick. James Grieve, Hereforshire Russet, Pitmaston Pineapple and Laxton's Fortune. Why not try one of each? Remember to leave some for others.
26 August 2023
Apple Day is Free!
Yes, the Brightwell cum Sotwell Apple Day is well known as one of the best Apple Days in Oxfordshire and is free. We just want to celebrate the apple harvest and give visitors the chance to see and understand just how different and unusual apples are to those in the supermarkets.Each year retired fruit farmer, Paul Chilton, produces a staggering display of just some of the 101 traditional heritage varieties of apples and pears all grown in the parish. There are always different varieties to taste as well!
23 August 2023
We have picked our first apples! Laxton's Fortune from one of the old orchards in the village. A very pleasing sight but this is one of just a few trees that are cropping this year.
We had such a mass of apples in 2022 we were able to keep the press going for 5 hours on Apple Day.
Why such a patchy harvest? Paul Chilton, our retired fruit farmer and apple expert, shrugs and says that some years this happens. We had two cold spells in December and January, a dry February, a wet March, plenty of promising blossom in May, no late frosts and a warm June.
Last year the trees cropped heavily but they are hardy and there isn't a guarantee that this is the cause. Who knows? Fingers crossed.
|Our first apples - Laxton's Fortune|
|Spartan - looking hopeful|
21 May 2023
The flowers in the orchard this summer have been spectacular. There has been a lot of various umbellifera along the footpaths through the orchards which have attracted a particularly good range of insects. All adding to the rich habitat that has developed over the last 9 years since it was planted in 2014. John has been undertaking an ad hoc survey of the invertebrates with some surprising results.