Picking Apples For Juicing: Why Timing Is Important

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This year has been an exciting one for Orchard Origins, launching as a Community Interest Company and getting ready for our first season of juicing and cidermaking in our purpose-made workshop, hereafter known as the Shed.  Last year’s harvest was a challenge for us as we got the Shed up and running; this year we are clean, clear and ready for action – we’ve even washed the crates in anticipation.  Cider apples are going to be a little while as their high sugar levels take a long time to develop, but why haven’t we started picking for juice yet? Continue reading

Orchard Extravaganza Sunday 4th October

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As part of h.Energy weekend Orchard Origins will celebrate Herefordshire’s traditional orchards with a family pick and press day, pruning demo and a BBQ with local sausages and cider on Sunday 4th October from 11am to 3pm at Lower House Farm, Ledbury Road, Tupsley, Hereford HR1 1UT.

 

On the edge of Hereford overlooking the Lugg meadow lies one of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s traditional orchards, planted with heritage varieties of eating and cider apples. For one day the orchard will be open to members of the public to come and pick, press, taste, learn and enjoy. Tuck in to a local sausage provided by the Houghton Project and pint of Orchard Origins very own cider too, all for just £5 per adult, children under 14 years go free.

 

Turnham Green Wood will also be there, demonstrating green woodworking techniques and staff from Herefordshire Wildlife Trust will be on hand to answer your broader wildlife enquires.

 

This is a bookable event so anyone interested in joining in should contact Julia or Laurence on 01432 356872 / orchards@herefordshirewt.co.uk or book online at http://www.herefordshirewt.org/whats-on. All proceeds go to supporting the conservation and social aims of Orchard Origins.

Wildings: The Hedgerow’s Feral Apple Trees

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Stroll along any countryside lane in the autumn and you will discover the hedgerows are full of wild apple trees – the progeny of discarded apple cores or an apple pip dispersed by an animal or bird. Known as wildings, they can also be evidence of a ‘lost’ orchard where a lone apple tree has survived and been incorporated into the hedgerow. Variable in size, texture and colour these accidental apple trees are often mistaken for crab apples, the original wild form of the tree. Continue reading

Pruning Young Trees

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Planting a cider apple and perry pear orchard at Houghton Feb 2013

Orchard Origins went back to the Houghton Project this week to prune the apple and pear trees we planted a year ago. Pruning a tree in its early years – known as formative pruning – helps it to develop a strong, basic branch structure.  As discussed in a previous post Winter or Summer Pruning, formative pruning is best done in the winter when the tree is still dormant.

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Mulled Apple Juice

IMG_0613Hot mulled apple juice is a delicious non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine and equally warm and comforting on a cold autumnal night.  At Orchard Origins we have been working on creating an apple juice blend that will be perfect for mulling. It will go on sale in December in time for the festive season. To create our Dormington Blend we set up the portable apple press in the orchard and took samples of juice from different apple varieties.  Continue reading