Apple Day

Did you know that you can find us in the orchard of Horsenden Farm on September 28th, where we will help celebrate all thing appley with the Apple Day at Horsenden Farm?

See their Facebook page for full details.

Horsenden Farm is a fantastic site “on the other side of Ealing” with a vibrant and enthusiastic community, the Friends of Horsenden Hill, offering a diverse range of activities for all ages. Apple Day is just one of many excellent reasons for visiting Horsenden Hill Farm and surroundings. Be sure not to miss it.

You won’t get points but you might get prizes!

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Summer Pruning

Come and join us for a casual walk across the Hanwell Meadows for this year’s summer pruning!

It’s an excellent opportunity to learn or to share your knowledge in subject matter, or to advocate yet another preferred pruning regime. Or you can simply come along, enjoy a lovely walk across the meadows in the company of our friendly volunteers.

Saturday September 14th at 11 o’clock

Jubilee Meadows
By the railway crossing

No experience is necessary, but please wear sturdy shoes and dress for the occasion. We hope to retire to the Fox for refreshments at around 14:00.

Summer Orchard Picnic

Come on over and join our

Summer Orchard Picnic
Saturday August 31st from 12:00
Jubilee Meadow (by the sheep)

Bring you own food and drink to the sharing table, bring your own children and friends. Bring your own smile, a kite, a blanket or camping chair.

The forecast promises a fine day and we are looking forward to a lazy Saturday in the balmy late Summer beauty of the Hanwell Meadows in your good company.

Please be mindful of plastic waste and food waste though: bring only as much as your own company would consume, avoiding plastic where possible. Please be prepared to take back leftovers. Please bring your own glass or cup so that we can avoid plastic cups – or drink straight from the bottle 😉

My Wishlist

Our publicly accessible community orchards offer fruit and nature experience for everyone. It does therefore stand to reason that anyone can help themselves to fruit.

We are in a roller-coaster of emotions between frustration and bewilderment to see that some persons help themselves to all the fruit however, weeks before it is ripe and ready. They even took our hand-grafted tree labels for easy identification!

Others continue to help themselves to tree stakes, rabbit guards or a whole tree, while yet others again equate an orchard to a garden waste deposit site.

Honestly, I lack the words to describe just how off some people’s morale compass appears to be. But I can hope, and I can wish:

I wish everyone picking unripe fruit stomach cramps, indigestion and a realisation of stupidity.

I wish everyone anti-social enough to take all the fruit a painfully bloated feeling and a good dose of shame.

I wish everyone who conveniently looks away when the dog gets down to business in the meadows or discreetly discards the poo-bag with a practised flick of the wrist that they, too, step into their traces frequently.

I wish everyone stealing or damaging tree labels, rabbit guards, stakes or related infrastructure, or break or steal whole trees that they, too, one day enjoy committing days and days of planning, caring and hard labour for some cause dear to their heart, only to find it damaged or destroyed over and over again by mindless anti-social behaviour.

That, I wish with all my heart.

Remember, a wishlist is not just for Christmas!

Harvesting Season

It’s harvesting season! Hay harvesting season, that is.

While plums, prunes and gates are busy putting on the finishing touches and apples and pears have another couple of weeks of ripening to do, the meadow grass is ready for the hay harvest.

Please join us if you can on

Saturday August 10th from 11 o’clock at The Piggeries

We’ll be scything the piggeries, rake, gather and remove the cuttings for local composting. There’s plenty to do for people of all strength, fitness and general ability.

We’ll start at 11 o’clock and will finish in the early afternoon, just in time for refreshments at a nearby public house. All you need bring is yourself, but please make sure to wear sturdy shoes and long trousers. A long sleeved top or strong insect repellent is recommended and a pair of gardening gloves will protect your delicate hands and future career as a concert pianist.

Update 10-Aug:

All done. The Piggeries were cut in 3 hours flat, raked and collected into an astonishing mounting of biomass. Also note the fascinating wasp spider which we found, although some of the men in our party look at it only with suspicion…

It’s Too Darn Hot

It’s too darn hot to think of an article for this week and we are off to a short break. The forecast is for a cooler Saturday and even promises a reasonable amount of rain, much needed by all trees.

More recently planted trees can still benefit from watering through the watering tubes, but those planted more than a year ago must fend for themselves and depend on a little bit of the good old British Summer once in a while: a young yet established tree has a rootstock of approximately one to 1 1/2 foot radius per inch of trunk diameter.

You’d expect a rootstock diameter of 8 to 12 feet in diameter, or 2 to 3 metres for a tree with a 3 to 4 inch trunk diameter.

Nothing that a watering can can address, but ye old persistent drizzle for a couple of hours, or a good summer shower once in a while most certainly can. So there’s something good even in a damp summer day or night!

Scythe With Confidence

Did you know that members can get free safety instructions and basic usage training for the scythe with us, with practise opportunities almost every Tuesday evening?

It’s it true!

We now offer this free to our members and volunteers. Speak to us during one of our Tuesday or Saturday activities and we’ll make individual mutually convenient arrangements.

Safety and usage instructions take approximately one hour, but you should allow for a fair amount of practise. We cannot teach you how to scythe your lawn or scythe to competition standards, but we can teach you how to manage a meadow with the scythe safely and efficiently.

The scythe is silent and sustainable, surprisingly efficient and astonishingly meditative. Come, join us and find out!

Guided Walk Along The Hanwell Orchard Trail

Part of the Mayor of London’s National Park City Festival

We are very happy to announce that we will be part of The Mayor of London’s National Park City Festival. This festival invites you to discover London’s amazing outdoors with events across the city, from outdoor fitness sessions and live performances to bee-keeping and open water events for the family. The Mayor of London is working with the National Park City Foundation, other partners and Londoners to make London the world’s first National Park City.

Find out more at www.london.gov.uk/national-park-city.

Come and join us for a 3-mile guided circular walk along a trail of community orchards we have planted on publicly accessible land beside the Grand Union Canal in Hanwell W7. We will also take in the historic Hanwell flight of locks and Brunel’s Three Bridges Monument. Please wear stout shoes and bring water, sunscreen or waterproof clothing or both!

Meet outside the Fox public house in Green Lane, Hanwell, W7 2PJ, Ealing (map)

Start time July 25th 11 am finish around 1pm

Will not go ahead in heavy rain or high winds.

Coming Out

Our friends from the Billets Hart Allotment Association invite to a fruit tree pruning talk and demo next Tuesday, July 9th, at 19:00 in the allotments across the road from the Fox (map).

They charge visitors £5 but promise to include a free glass of wine.

That’s a great opportunity to get yet another opinion on pruning or to meet the most experienced Gerry Edwards FRICS, C Hort, MCIHort again.

The event conflicts with our very own Tuesday evening activity of course(Tuesday July 9th: Blackberry Corner). You’ll have to come out and declare your allegiances 😉

We’ll probably end up taking refreshments at the Fox from approximately 20:30 no matter which choice you make.

It’s Picnic Time Soon

There is still time to the Summer Orchard Picnic but no time is better than now to get it into your diary:

Summer Orchard Picnic

Saturday August 31st, 2019 from 12:00

Jubilee Meadow by the sheep

As before, we’ll make this a bring-your-own affair: bring you own food and drink to the sharing table, bring your own children and friends. Bring your own smile, kite or camping chair.

We moved the date from the previous autumn picnic dates in September or October forward into August, hoping on nicer and more reliable weather, and we are already looking forward to a lazy Saturday in the balmy late Summer beauty of the Hanwell Meadows in your good company.

We’ll remind you closer to the date but trust that you put it into your diary now.