Apples in abundance

 

Steffie Shields from LINCOLNSHIRE LIFE magazine visits the orchard and interviews Annie Hall.

If the past season has been more than wet, and bereft of lengthy spells of sunshine, Nature makes amends with compensation. Climatic conditions – a warm spring, coupled with plentiful summer rain – have ensured that 2015 has yielded the largest, and sweetest, apple crop for twenty years. On learning that fellow Lincolnshire Gardens Trust member Annie Hall had taken over as Chairman of the Stamford Community Orchard Group (known as SCOG), I was reminded that this destination had long been on my radar. High time I found out about a rekindling of local heritage fruitgrowing. Annie runs a homeopathic health advice and counselling service. Her enthusiasm for both apple orchards is understandable, remembering that old wives tale: ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. In 2003 SCOG first came together to source and begin planting Orchard Number 1, supported by South Kesteven District Council in charging only a peppercorn rent, and with an injection of Heritage Lottery Funding, enabling also a subsequent purchase of an apple press. SCOG now care for two orchards. Orchard Number 1, containing forty-six heritage apple trees, occupies a small, triangular plot tucked at the end of a close on a housing estate on the north-east edge of Stamford. Wild roses cover one boundary fence, espalier and cordon apples are wired across another, and a taller hawthorn tree creates a focal point. Grass paths are roughly mown, alternating with attractive bands of wildflowers, inbetween maturing fruit trees….

Reproduced with permission. Read the full article here.