I will be running two courses this winter, Fruit Tree Pruning and Planning & Planting an Orchard.
Planning & Planting an Orchard – 18th November 2017
Held at Monkton Wyld, on the Dorset/Devon border. 10am-3pm. £60.00 including delicious vegetarian lunch.
For bookings please visit here
Fruit Tree Pruning – 25th November 2017
Held at Trill Farm, near Axminster. 10am-3pm. £60.00 including delicious lunch made by Chris at The Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill.
For bookings please visit here
Both courses can be booked through the Landbase website, on their Courses page.
Newly planted maiden apple tree
A new course set for April 29th 2017: Planning and Planting a New Orchard.
Hot on the heels of our Pruning Apple and Pear Trees Course at Trill Farm in February, we will be running another course with the excellent Landbase to be held at Monkton Wyld, near Axminster, East Devon.
This 1 day course will put you on the right path to planting an orchard of healthy and productive fruit trees suitable for your location and needs. Led by fruit tree specialist Tom Nancarrow from Pip & Stone Fruit Tree Services and Adam’s Apples, the course covers topics such as choosing the best site, understanding pollination, selecting a rootstock, the best varieties, potential yields, when to plant, how to protect trees from rabbits/sheep/deer.
Visit Landbase to book a place or contact me directly for any further enquiries.
See the courses page here for details
I am running an apple tree pruning course this November at a farm on the outskirts of Exeter. Call East Devon Countryside Team to book a place on 01395 517557
Apple blossom coalescing in a puddle
I spent a blustery hour wandering around Sheppy’s cider orchards yesterday morning, during a gap in the showers. Needless to say, the weather was too rough for any pollinating insects to be out, in fact there was a disheartening amount of blossom being blown off the branches! Hopefully a more settled week ahead…
It’s interesting to see the three different orchards, reflecting how the management and growing of apples has changed over time.
Sheppy’s new post and wire cider orchard, the modern way!
Sheppy’s mm106 cider orchard, planted 1975
Sheppy’s traditional standard cider orchard
Not sure of the variety, but this block of mm106 cider trees were looking particularly beautiful.
Apple blossom on the 3rd May
There is some lovely fruit blossom out at the moment, hopefully we will have some good weather this coming week for the pollinators…
Blenheim Orange, looking promising… 3rd May
Jean Pierre keeping guard in the orchard
Cherry ‘Stella’ blossom, 27th April
I had a nice morning at Musbury primary school, East Devon a week or so ago. We talked about all the different insects and animals you might find in an orchard before heading out in to the pouring rain to plant ten apple trees! The children had written a fantastic wassailing song to bring good health and high yields to the new orchard, with the help of Folk South West. We even made the local paper – fame at last…
I am running two apple tree pruning courses this winter, please see below for details.
Saturday 13th December 2014:
Pruning young apple trees @ Broadclyst Community Farm (map)
Learn how to create well-structured and productive apple trees with this lesson in formative pruning and orchard management. A mixture of practice and theory. Some tools will be available but please bring secateurs if you have them. We will be working on young trees – around 5 years old.
10.00 – 3:00pm / £30.00 Vegetarian lunch included
Saturday 7th February 2015:
Pruning mature apple trees @ Escot (map)
Learn the art of pruning mature apple trees and caring for old orchards, with this practical pruning day in a traditional Devon orchard.
9.30 – 3:30pm / £45.00 Lunch not included but refreshments available at Escot Coach House Resturant
Tools: This day will involve more work with a pruning saw than secateurs. I will have a small number available but it would be a worthwhile investment if you are going to be pruning fruit trees regularly. There is really only one saw worth considering for fruit tree work, the Silky Fox Gomtaro pull saw. Expensive, but you won’t regret it!
The sluice gate is opened up to redirect the water to the waterwheel.
Here are some photographs of us making cider the old fashioned way, with our traditional oak press.
The wheel is connected with a long rope to an apple crusher in the cider barn on the other side of the wall.
Apples are carried to the floor above the crusher and then poured steadily through a trap door…
apples in, pulp out!
And here is the oak press. First, a layer of reed…
…a few shovel loads of apple pulp and straw, the reed is folded up and hazel stakes are used to keep the whole thing together
Pressing the cheese!