Myself and fellow scrumper, Tim, started our first picking day at Oldbury Orchard near Thornbury where we were shocked to find that there were practically no apples to pick ! This indeed was a fallow year for the Orchard, after a bumper crop last year.
Undeterred, we drove around the Oldbury area and found what we were really looking for. Old forgotten apple trees with fruit just begging to be picked. We happily scrabbled around roadsides and ditches picking for half an hour or so before discovering another old Orchard on land belonging to farmer Stephen Clark, whose family had been farming on that site for more than 3 generations. He was very happy for us to pick cider apples including – Somerset Blenheim – from his orchard, as every year they were going to waste. Stephen even got involved, shaking the trees from his ladder. His Old Orchard probably only had about 20 apple trees let but we’ll be passing the information on to ‘The Orchard Survey’. We also identified other small orchards in the area which we hope to go back to.
Sunday Was spent displaying my Orchard eye images and promoting The Scrumping Project at the annual Orchard Harvest Day at Winterbourne Medieval Barn. It was a fantastic day with over 700 visitors. I’ve posted some pics below but you can see many more at http://www.orchardeye.com