Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Community Orchard

I've been meaning to blog about this for some time now.  On the outskirts of our village, there are a few allotments.  The waiting list has always been very very long.  One of the members of our church had his name down for several years and then out of the blue he was contacted and asked if he'd like to take one on. 
 Here's his story:
Chris heard about community orchards and thought, this is it! So, together with a group of friends we agreed to grow soft fruits such as raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries and blackberries as well as some vegetables. We also agreed to plant apple trees, pears, plums, cherries, nuts and some other varieties not readily available in the shops.

As more people said “yes”, we agreed to run our project as the early Christians would have done: those who could afford to, put money up, others gave their time. Everyone would share equally and any surplus would be given away or used to raise funds for a worthy cause.

The adventure soon began with an order of a range of plants and everything required to fence in the area to protect it from rabbits. Unfortunately they all arrived on the same day in April 2010. So, that Saturday was a very busy day with 600 fruit bushes planted and the fence erected too. It was a fantastic day and we all had a lot of fun involving all the families.

Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings have become regular days to meet at the 'orchard' to plant, weed and harvest, oh and enjoying the sunshine and outdoor life. We have enjoyed the first fruits from The First Fruits Orchard including beans, potatoes, artichokes, sweetcorn and a surprise crop of rasps and currants!"
(from Facebook)

The orchard has also been embraced by the local school and the children will be making trips there to help.

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