26 August 2021

Scything the wildflowers

Did you see the wildflowers this summer? There were some lovely varieties which were waist high. At the end of the summer we always scythe the orchard using traditional wood Austrian scythes. It takes about 2 hours for a gang of volunteers to mow it all.  Here are last year's team.








22 April 2021

Grafting new family trees

This spring Paul Chilton grafted two new varieties onto a single variety to make a family tree. Here he gives a master class as he demonstrates Tip Grafting and Spur Grafting.

The host variety is a Grenadier, an early cooking apple, greatly admired for cooking into a flavoursome fluff. The other two varieties are Wagner and Ashmead Kernel. The tree is temporarily planted in the churchyard. 


Preparing the scion for method one
Preparing the scion for method one

The join between the scion and the rootstock in method one

The join between the scion and the rootstock in method one  

The join between the scion and rootstock in method two
The join between the scion and rootstock in method two

Heating up the sealing wax camping style
Heating up the sealing wax camping style

Sealing the join on method two
Sealing the join on method two


And finally two new varieties joined to the rootstock Grenadier
And finally two new varieties joined to the rootstock Grenadier


Have a look at Paul in action with these two methods

13 March 2021

Spring is on it's way

 

The orchard looks lovely this spring with daffodils, cowslips and snowdrops amongst the trees.

Snowdrops


Cowslips and daffodils


22 February 2021

Winter in the orchard


Pruning once again

The trees are growing so well now that pruning is getting easier. Obviously, with all the restrictions we weren't able to have our normal pruning party but Paul and his helper pruned all the trees one cold and misty morning.


A pleasing discovery was to see that the geocache box is still there. It was first discovered in the long grass when the wildflowers were being scythed. All of the crew added some treasure to the box and signed our names in the book.

Geocache box in the orchard




6 February 2021

Clearing the ash trees in the Swan Wood

 The orchard is planted on land between the allotments and the recreation ground. Next to it is Swan Wood, an area of woodland left to look after itself. It has a lot of ash trees, both young trees just 2-5 years old and larger trees which would be 20 years old.

Unfortunately, the younger ash trees have succumbed to ash die back and so the village Environment Group decided that now would be the right time to selectively clear the ash and replant the wood with native trees such as oak, beech, birch, chestnut and walnut with an understory of holly, spindleberry and other species.

Contractors cleared the site and the area has been seeded with a wildflower mix for the summer. In winter 2021/2022 villagers will be able to plant a tree and celebrate the new beginnings for the wood.



The woodland after cutting the ash

Ash trunks to take away

11 September 2020

Apple Weekend and Apple Trail


What a great weekend!

Did you see the boxes and the posts around the village? Over 200 people followed the Apple Trail. 

So many people came along to the hall to see Paul's display and try lots of different apples and take them home.

It was definitely a winner and we will have an Apple Trail again next year when we are back to normal with a big celebration Apple Day at the Red Lion.