As part of the Chelsea Fringe community garden festival, the community orchard is holding an open day from 2pm on Saturday June 3rd.
Despite the recent drought, our trees are surviving, although some still need watering. It is hoped to arrange a working party towards the end of October (more details later). Interesting events in the next week or so include the Henley Show Ploughing Match at Dunsden and a chance to visit the Crosslanes Fruit Farm at Mapledurham.
The ploughing match starts at 9am this Sunday October 4, with the blessing of the plough. Besides heavy horse and tractor ploughing competitions, attractions include birds of prey, ferret racing and craft and trade stalls. Parking is free.
Crosslanes Fruit Farm at Mapledurham is open from 10am to 5pm on Sunday October 11. There will be advice on all aspects of fruit growing, competitions for children, and sales of produce, including apples from amongst the over 60 varieties grown at Crosslanes.
Thanks to a grant from the Chilterns AONB we have made some good progress since Christmas. Some impressive labels have been ordered for our fruit trees and we have also purchased and heeled in some hornbeam trees for the boundary with the village green. Several replacement fruit trees have also been planted.
A fine new bench which will be the centre piece of a walk through the orchard has been purchased and will be installed soon. We have also been able to buy a picnic bench which will be another pleasant spot from which to enjoy the orchard.
The labels record both the name of each tree and of each dedicatee. They will be inavluable when we produce an educational booklet describing a walk around the orchard. In the next few weeks we need to hold a working party to securely install the new bench and seat and to definitively remove the brambles along the green edge.
Watch this site for more details!
We have been busy this weekend making way for the 40m hornbeam hedge we plan to plant along the orchard boundary with Dunsden Green, thanks to a grant from the Chilterns Conservation Board.
Brambles have been cut back all along the boundary, but will need spraying to really get rid of them. We have dug a holding trench ready to receive the bare root plants which will be collected from the Bristol area next Saturday. We are hoping for a few volunteers to heel in the plants from lunchtime on Saturady Febraury 21. There may also be a chance to cut back some of the ivy on the larger trees on the orchard boundary.
Places are still available on the pruning course run by Cross Lanes Orchard. If you are a paid-up member of the orchard we may be able to help with your course fee. The next course is Saturday morning, 21 February.
Please contact David Woodward if you intend to take part in either the working party or the pruning course.
Thanks to the Co-op Community Fund we have received a grant of £500 to put towards the cost of planting trees and a wooden bench which it is hoped will be the focal point of the walkway through our orchard. The Fund provided a plaque which we hope to fix to the orchard gateway at our next working party, which is planned for Sunday 14 September at 2.30pm. To encourage a good turnout on the day (when we will mainly be weeding around the trees), cider will be provided. Please put the date in your diary now and come along and enjoy an hour's enjoyable work with other local people.
A reminder that you will find us at Binfield Heath Flower Show at Holmwood this Saturday from 2pm. There will be some early apples to taste and we will be able to answer your questions about the orchard.
We will soon have some attractive embroidered polo shirts for orchard supporters. These are available at £10 each for members or £12.50 for non-members: a good reason to sign up for membership if you have not done so already. Just download the leaflet and post off the form to set-up an annual £5 or £10 standing order. Your support is much appreciated.
A fund-raising quiz night is also planned, thanks to the generosity of Beth Timms, who has been organising these popular evenings for some time. The evening starts at 7 for 7.30pm in Dunsden Village Hall on Saturday October 11th. A light supper and an entertaining evening is promised, all for under £10! Tickets from Beth Timms