Many people braved the rain to enjoy Apple DayApple Day 2011 was another successful event. Despite the inclement weather - rain most of the afternoon with gusts of strong wind that were a challenge for the gazebos - the event was busy with initial estimates of around 400 visitors.
Horticultural questions ranged from 'how do I plant my apple tree?', 'Can you help me choose which to buy - an Egremont Russet or a Blenheim Orange?' (BO chosen as it will give a longer harvesting season when taking into account the other trees on the plot), to 'I've moved into a house and cut down an old apple tree, is this alright?' (I'm not sure what answer was given!). Martin was also able to help us with a few issues we have in the orchard, from a badly diseased Fiesta (and Lane's Prince Albert) to overcrowded trees that need restrictive pruning. The guidance Martin has provided will be added to the management plan for the orchard for the forthcoming year.
A banner for the orchard was made as part of the art activities, along with badges and purses using old bottle tops, apple wood and juice cartons. The more foolhardy had a go at apple bobbing, as if they weren't wet enough already. The longest peel produced an extraordinary result - 3.8m (I think). Whilst the apple used was admittedly large it was the technique that impressed - a knife was used to score the apple before peeling. The 'peeler' was from Oregon, USA. We are obviously being taught the wrong things in school.
Plenty of cakes, salads and hot savoury meals were consumed and diners were entertained by local band The 309's. Fresh juice was pressed from apples donated by Bradford Fruitshare, and about 20 varieties of apple were on sale. Unfortunately Yorkshire Orchards suffered frost this year so had no apples, however we purchased fruit from Park Fruit Farm in Essex who have consistently high quality fruit which is produced in an wildlife friendly orchard.
Many thanks to the volunteers who helped on the day - without whom we could not run the event - and who worked hard in advance to make chutney, jam and food for the cafe.
See more photos here