In 1998 a small group of people took on some over-grown plots on the edge of the Horfield & District Allotment Association in Bristol. They cleared the ground and over the last decade have planted 100 different varieties of fruiting trees, bushes and vines. Yesterday this Organic Community Orchard celebrated apple day where it was possible to taste slices of apples from many different apple trees. There was a fascinating talk by one of the members on the history of different varieties and tips on how to grow fruit. Slices of delicious apple and other fruit cakes were on sale as were refreshing glasses of pressed apple juice.
This non-profit making venture http://www.avonorganicgroup.org.uk is run by members who pay an annual subscription and by Friends and Donations. The members agree to putting in a certain number of hours a year to help manage the site using organic methods and they then share the harvest. The aim is to encourage fruit growing in the wider community by giving advice on growing healthy fruit. Any surplus fruit is sold at the St Nicholas Farmer’s Market in Bristol. These are exciting times for local and sustainable food in Bristol and HOCO as a pioneering community orchard has much to offer members and the wider community.