Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mansbridge Community Orchard Update

Thanks to backing from Southampton Airport Community Fund, we have been able to buy new tools and equipment for use in the Mansbridge Community Orchard. We may also need to get some professional training.
We have purchased pruning equipment; loppers, saws etc as well as picking tools. Renovating a neglected orchard, with many mature trees, will be a lengthy and on-going commitment. It will take several years to get the main trees into a decent state and longer still to sort out the less accessible areas.
In the Autumn, the real fun begins. We will begin to reap the rewards of the project; we will need to buy more fruit picking and collecting gear to help us gather the apples. We also aim to purchase processing kit, like a nice big fruit crusher and a lager cider press.
The Orchard is beginning to flower now and we must organise another Blossom Walk (provided these gales don't blow it all away). Last year we had perfect weather for the walk and had a great turn out. It is the ideal way to get to know the orchard and to familiarise the locations of all the various trees. It is much easier to recognise the fruit trees, when they are covered in bloom. It will also be a good opportunity to recruit more volunteers who want to help manage and get involved with all the other activities in the orchard.

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