Orchard Maintenance Dates

We hold a maintenance session every second Sunday of the month (11am – 1pm), and every fourth Thursday (10am – 12pm)

If you love our orchard, and want to help keep it special, please come along to one of our regular maintenance sessions.  We provide all the tools you need, and lots of help and advice, so if you’ve never done any gardening before, don’t worry. It’s a great way to spend some time in the outside and meet new people

.These sessions are when we look after the trees and check what needs to be done. For each season we will check the health of the trees, attend to any pests and diseases, and make the orchard look as beautiful as possible. It’s vital work to keep the orchard going and we rely on our volunteers to look after these trees, so we really appreciate the help. You don’t have to stay for the whole session, just come along when you can. Superivised children are welcome but please note we have no toilet/hand washing etc facilities on site or nearby. Please wear clothes suitable for outdoor work.

DATES FOR 2019:  Every second Sunday of the month (11am – 1pm), and every fourth Thursday (10am – 12pm)

Sunday 10 Feb
Thursday 28 Feb

Sunday 10 March
Thursday 28 March

Sunday 14 April
Thursday 25 April

Sunday 12 May
Thursday 23 May

Sunday 9 June
Thursday 27 June

Sunday 14 July
Thursday 25 July

Sunday 11 August
Thursday 22 August

Sunday 8 Sept
Thursday 26 Sept

Sunday 13 Oct
Thursday 24 Oct

Sunday 10 Nov
Thursday 28 Oct

Sunday 8 Dec
(Thursday 26 Dec – probably not going to happen!)

“Wassail wassail all over the town…”

Sunday 13th January 2019 2pm

“Wassail wassail all over the town…
So begins the traditional Wassail carol – celebrating Christmas, winter and the bountiful harvest to come. Our own orchard wassail is a bit of a tradition in its own right, having been going for a mighty ten years. This year we have story telling for everyone, a great way of setting the scene and leading us into the fun and mystery of singing to apple trees as darkness falls.

Come and see us. It’s free (although donations are much appreciated) and it’s suitable for all the family. Because we’ll be outside in an orchard, wear warm clothes, bring a torch. Dressing up is encouraged – it’s usually Holly Kings and Ivy Queens but we have had a 6ft tall penguin come along in the past, so anything goes!

Come and join us for our 10th Birthday

We are celebrating our 10th Birthday on Thursday 30th August 2018

All are welcome to come along and listen to a story or two about apples, orchards and the amazing creatures that live in them

Afternoon
Tea party for children and their carers, starting 2.30pm with cake and apple juice with storytelling starting at 3.30pm for about an hour. Our storyteller is Marion Leeper.

Evening

  1. Storytelling for grown ups will bring us all together at 6.30pm with Malcolm Busby with Marion Leeper joining in later. Bring a picnic and a blanket and settle in for a traditional, but contemporary experience.

More details will follow on, keep an eye on our Facebook event page too. 

A fruitful day in the orchard

On Saturday 9th June we hosted the AGM of the East of England Apples and Orchards Project.  This organisation grows all the varieties of apples and other orchard fruit that originated in the East of England, and does a lot of research into their origins and how to grow them. It’s open for anyone interested in fruit to join, and it is really worthwhile.
After the business part of the meeting, it was our turn to give a short presentation on how this little orchard came into being. We could hardly believe it was first thought of over ten years ago! We used lots of photos to jog out memories – some of the photos you can find by exploring the links and early posts on this site. It wwas good to have the comments from so many other expert growers and owners of community orchards.
Many of those present joined us for a tour of the orchard itself. As you can see from these picures, the wildflower meadow around the trees was the star of the show. Everyone admired the swift tower, and looked to see the swifts themselves. Hopefully swift towers will be a feature of more community orchards, and the EEAOP site itself, in the future.

Beavers in the orchard

Don’t worry about our trees, I don’t mean the toothy, dam building type of beaver. Our orchard visitors were the 1st Trumpington Beaver Scouts (aged 6 – 8) , who came to the Orchard a few weeks ago and made a splendid job of a litter pick.
Just last Sunday (13.5.18) the 1st Trumpington Cub Scouts (aged 8 – 11) joined our regular volunteering session and spent most of their time removing brambles – a very prickly task!
We are really grateful for the enthusiasm, effort and help from these young people and their Leaders. We cannot keep the orchard looking good without the work of volunteers, and we hope that in return they learned a little about the orchard and its plants and insect life.
We welcome other group visits, we’ve hosted the Brownies and local schools as well, so do get in touch if you’d like to play a part in your local orchard’s growth.

Spring cleaning

OK I admit Spring is rather late this year. But the Orchard survived the ‘Beast from the East’ snow, and here and there blossom is cautiously unfurling. This website needs a bit of a spring clean, not least because of new data protection regulations that are coming into force in May 2018. This means that every organisation, no matter how small, has to ask its supporters to actively ‘opt in’ to receive emails and other contacts. So look out from an email for us soon, and please do take the time to stay in touch because we can’t keep the Orchard going without your help and interest.

Our Monthly Maintenance Mornings (Second Sunday and last Thursday of the month) have been off to a good start and so far we are scything the grass and getting rid of any bramble seedlings that have poked up through the ground. All are welcome to come to these – have a look at our Events page for all the dates and see the sign on the Orchard gate.

Green Woodworking at the wassail

At this year’s Wassail we had a demonstration from The Wympole Green Woodworking group who used a pole lathe to make a variety of items. Many thanks to them for the fascinating demo and for being so weather resistant. We hope to collaborate with them again – let us know if you’d be interested in attending a demo or a course of some kind.

Our Tenth Wassail

On Sunday 14th January 2018 we held our tenth Wassail! Here are some photos that have come my way so far, hopefully I can put up some more to show you the Green Woodworking Group and everything else that went on. Let’s hope it did the trick and the apple trees will produce a bumper harvest this autumn.
 

Wassail 2018 – Sunday 14th January

As I write this it’s the Winter Solstice, and thick fog outside. No wonder that winter festivals of light, dancing and music are so popular, and so much a part of rural life in the past. So shake off the gloom and look forward to Wassail 2018! Each year we like to do something a bit different, so for our Tenth Wassail (I know, I can’t believe that but it’s true, this will be the tenth one)…anyway, we are very pleased to be hosting a demonstration of green woodworking skills.
Come along to the Orchard from 12:30 – 2:00pm for the woodworking, with music and Wassail traditions afterwards from 2:30pm.
Special thanks to Nigel Pennick’s Rabble Rousing Wassail Band for providing the music to scare bad spirits out of the apple trees. If you’d like to bring anything to make a noise with, that would be great. Dress up if you want, and in any case wrap up warm. Hot mulled apple juice and various apple bakes will be served to keep out the cold

The event is free but donations are appreciated. Please park with consideration for the residents.

Apple Days are here again

21 October is National Apple Day, and it’s the time of year when we take our expertise about apples out and about. With our friends from the East of England Apples and Orchards Project, we will be at Apple Day events across the region, helping to identify apples that are brought in, and spreading the word about the amazing varieties you can grow at home.
Here’s a list of all the Apple Days where apple identification is on offer, but there are more events happening so do pop along to your local event.
And, because it’s ‘peak apple’ in October, I am out and about talking at many local Garden Clubs, all of which are happy to welcome visitors if you fancy coming along and  learning more about the amazing history of apples and how to look after your trees:
21 September-  Scotsdales, Great Shelford – fruit in modern gardens (not just apples!)
10 October –  Shelford Gardening Club
11 October – Whittlesford Gardening Club
12 October – Girton Gardening Club
23 October – Wickhambrook Horticultural Society
27 October – Cottenham Garden Club

Ely apple day