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The winter is a fairly quiet time in the orchard and cider barn – just the winter pruning to do and the last of the cider to make. However, this year the pruning was more of a task because I missed doing it last year. That means this year’s pruning […]

Spring has sprung?


For those unfamiliar with craft cider and perry, I thought it would be helpful to write down a few thoughts on tasting. Firstly, it is important to remember that craft cider and perry is 100% juice (or very nearly) and so has a lot more flavour than is to be […]

Tasting notes for craft cider


My birthday today, and as a present I received 1kg of wildflower seed. In anticipation, I had cut the orchard grass very short, exposing some bare patches, so I hope the seed germinates OK next year. The seed mixture was EM3F from Emorsgate (wildseed.co.uk) and follows on from sowing the […]

Sowing the orchard meadow



Looking after fruit trees is one thing, but thought also needs to be given to the space between them. Should you just let the grass and weeds grow, apply weedkiller, mow regularly, or what? After trying a few things, we have settled on an approach which encourages wildflowers and discourages […]

Orchard Floor Management





2016 has been a bumper year for apples! Practically every fruit grower in Cumbria has had a greater-than-usual crop. The late spring stayed warm right through to the end of June and was followed by mild damp weather which swelled the fruit. Then September and October were sunny once more, […]

Bountiful harvest in 2016