It’s the first time since the apples were planted that anyone has questioned why or when they were planted. Year 5 St Nicholas School children planted them on a very wintery Feb with the help of Warden Giles. My son was 9yrs old. (attatchment)
The field has quite a bit of history. The legend is a plane crashed in that field during the 2nd world war.
When I first came to the farm in 1989 David Cross had leased the land for 3yrs to someone cutting turf.
Andrew as part of regenerating the fertility put in a green manures full of vetches, peas and many different grasses/herbs. I remember my two eldest sons running through a sea of colour that reached above their heads. The water board in early 1990’s put in the fence whilst they were laying down pipes. For years it was a useful field for silage.
We made it into two fields when a grower wanted a ha for growing cut flowers and herbs for tinctures. So once again it was a sea of colour buzzing with insects. She left after 6yrs because of ill health. When she left we grew vegetables on that hectare for 7years rather unsuccessfully as the ground was too heavy for vegetable growing. More recently Stepehen, who worked for us, had Oxford Sandy pigs which he sold through the farm shop. One of the pig huts is still standing. We planted trees along the top and bottom hedge in 1994 and unsuccessfully tried to sow wild flowers.
There was never a path down there, only the other side of the field. Where the new trees are, at the bottom, were a couple of fields for my British White Beef. I used to cut across our fields and through the hedge to take the kids to school, without using the road. Unfortunately others followed and I soon had broken fences and escaping cows. So we thought as the water board had put a fence there we would plant apple trees with the school kids and open it up as a permissive footpath. I had romantic visions of the school kids bringing their kids down, reminiscing the day they planted them and trying an apple or two. At the time there was a grant to encourage farmers to make permissive paths. It also encouraged more children/parents to walk to school as it was a safe route compared to walking through the village to pick up Legal Lane in The Hollow. We put in the wooden gate with a weight on it. Unfortunately the cows were let out too often, especially after pub closing time when the weight was left on the wrong side of the gate to keep it open. As it was a permissive path we could lock the gate when the cows were in, up to 21 days per year, but obviously this caused concern for people trying to get through the village without using the road. Hence we planted trees in 2013 with the help of a grant and are amazed at how well the 12,000 trees have grown. They seem to be catching up the 3,500 trees we planted in the field below in 1992 which hides quite a few roe deer in. The deer like to come out and test how well the lettuce/spinach and chard are doing. They don’t seem too keen on the brussels.
Here is the list of trees. Starting from the tree enclosures. Unfortunately the type Harvey 3/4/5 all died quite early on.
KEY to Ripening times
(NY) ripens Dec/Jan
Trees planted from bottom to top numbered 1-27 as follows
1/ Beauty of BAth LS
2/ Devenonshire Quarrandden LS
3/4/5/ All Harvey LS
6/ Ellison’s Orange EA
7/ Exeter Cross EA
8/ Taunton Cross EA
9/ Egremont Russet LA
10/11 Tom Putt LA
12/13/14 Melcombe Russet LA
15/16/`17 Slack Ma Girdle
18/ Christmas Permain MW
20/ Cornish Aromatic NY
22/23/24 Golden Pippin NY
25/ Gala S
26/ Duke of Devonshire S
27? Mystery ?
We had great weather for our apple day and hope everyone who made their own juice will enjoy it right through to the New Year. Its amazing how different each type of apple/pear tasted. Thank you everyone for supporting us.