Growing An Orchard

Within the woodland flow’ry gladed,
By the oak tree’s mossy root,
The shining grass blade timber shaded
Now do quiver on the foot,
And birds do whistle overhead,
And water’s bubbling in its bed,
And there for me the apple tree Do lean down low, in Linden Lea.

William Barnes

We are lucky to have the help of The Orchard Project to teach us the skills for looking after the fruit trees in the Park. We have both the community orchard which was planted between 2015 and 2018,  and trees that have been planted in various places over the years.

In the winter we learnt how to do both the formative and regenerative pruning.  We are now taking on the spring tasks of mulching and ensuring the right level of fertility.

A Cider Ladies Finger tree pruned in the winter of 2019 and below in flower in May.

Sadly the old horse-chestnut by the Orchard, planted by Parkinsons, had to come down as it was a danger – but we are now using the bark as a mulch which will protect the trees and feed the soil.

We have also been recording the apple blossom from the various trees to help with identifications – especially those we do not know.  For that we have help from the Northern Fruit Growers Association

The White Blossom of Balsam

Our next task is to learn how to scythe the grass over the coming months, as we have been advised that it is much better than strimming – it is also a good exercise.  :-).  Let us know if you’d like to join us in looking after the orchard and learning the old skills,

The Parkinson’s Park Apple Day will be on 20th October this year,  with an apple crusher and press for juice, and apple goodies to taste.

About Jennifer Inskip Kirkby

Director and Vice Chair of Friends of Parkinson's Park CIC, Chair of Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum and Facilitator of Inskip One-Name Study. Has a degree in Local History (University of Cambridge), and Economics (University of Leeds). Now retired after a career as a Business Analyst and Advisor.
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