The Apple Shed has a three acre cider apple orchard with more than 80 trees. It is an old mature orchard which was planted with 100 trees just after the Second World War. Every year we lose at least one old tree but we plan to replace them with new trees and reuse the wood for our house fire.
There are seven cider tree varieties:
– Bulmer’s Norman
– Tremletts Bitter
– Court Royal
– Yarlington Mill
The apples are used to produce commercial cider and between 10 to 20 tonnes are collected by the bagful each year. One tonne of apples gives 100 gallons cider. Each tree gives approxiametely a fifth of a tonne. That means our orchard produces 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of cider a year.
The orchard is managed according to the season.
– Clear weeds
– Bring in sheep to help manage the grass
– Prune branches
– Enjoy the blossom April until May
– Cut the grass and weeds
– Honey is collected from the beehives
– Start collecting apples from September until December
– Clear dead wood to make bonfires and collect firewood for the house
– Prune trees
– Clear dead wood
– Fix fencing
– Fieldfares arrive for the winter to eat the leftover fallen apples
The orchard is a haven for wildlife and is very popular with rabbits. We also have butterflies, a resident Great Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker, various wildflowers, pheasants, fieldfares, buzzards, occasional deer and more. Our neighbour also has beehives in our orchard which help pollinate the blossom to produce the apples.
The orchard is always changing with the seasons. There is something new everyday. Whether it is new blossom, a fallen tree, sheep coming to graze or butterflies fluttering in the sun.
Find out more on the Orchard News page.