Never Enough Goodness

IMG_20190209_105427We thank everyone who came to help plant the 2019 trees last Saturday: Thank you!

A good time was had by all thanks to the low-effort planting of just six trees. A little digging here and there, some snipping, some planting, a light luncheon, more talking, more walking. That’s the life!

There’s never enough of a good thing, though. Whether you are now enthused to plant even more trees or if you missed the opportunity, here’s another chance for late-comers and die-hard orchardists alike:

Our friends the Southall Orchard Project are tackling phase four of their project, to plant an orchard at Spikesbridge Park, West Avenue, Southall UB1 2AR, on Saturday 9th March 2019, from 12:00 to 14:00.

Why not lend them a hand?
For full detail please refer to their flyer right here.

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In The Nick of Time

dsc00290_1It’s not too late to join us for a spot of tree planting and general orchard care

Today, Saturday February 9th, from 10 o’clock

We’ll meet at the Piggeries, then work our way down to Osterley Lock, then up through Elthorne Waterside, back to the Piggeries around lunchtime, then up to Blackberry Corner, hoping to conclude with refreshments at the Fox between 2 and 3 o’clock.

We’ll provide all the tools and even a light snack, a lively discussion and a great little walk along the orchard trail. All you need is yourself and sensible clothing.

What’s not to like?

To Plant a Tree

IMG_20180210_120943686_HDRTo plant a tree is a dream for many. We will make your dream come true!

Saturday February 9th is our 2019 Tree Planting Day

We’ll meet in the Piggeries Orchard at 10 o’clock and plant a grand total of just 6 new fruit trees from Osterley Lock to Blackberry Corner.

You can help planting the trees, help with light winter pruning, label replacement or other light tasks as we go along, and you’re most welcome to simply go along.

And yes, you may swing the big stake walloper if you want!

We plan to start with Osterley Lock and Elthorne, return to the Piggeries for a snack around mid day, then plant the remaining trees in Blackberry Corner and finish the job with refreshments at the Fox Inn between 2 and 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Please join us if you can. 10 o’clock. Piggeries. Saturday 9th.

Map: https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=51.5024&mlon=-0.3393#map=16/51.5024/-0.3393

Mulching Report

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to help mulching trees and hedges at the Piggeries and St Margaret’s orchards last week.

What a fantastic way to start the new year!

Our next outing will be on Saturday February 9th to plant some trees to fill in for some losses during last year’s drought, please mark the date.

Artisan Woodchip

DSC_0078Happy New Year!

What better way to start the new year than return to old friends or to make a fresh start and new friends? None.

Why not join us next

Saturday January 12th, 2019
11 o’clock at The Piggeries [map]

We’ll mulch the trees with locally produced woodchip. It’s our very own home-made artisan woodchip (with thanks to the park rangers for support). It helps retain moisture and slows down weed growth while naturally composting into food to enrich the soil and help break up the heavy clay.

We’ll cover the Piggeries Orchard, St Margaret’s Orchard and Blackberry Corner, subject to weather and headcounts, and hope to retire to the Fox Inn for refreshments at approximately 2 o’clock.

We’ll bring the tools but you’re welcome to bring extra buckets or shovels. You should wear sensible shoes and clothes. We suggest that you wear a pair of gardening gloves to protect yourself from thorns and the occasional piece of metal or glass.

See you next week!

Hanwell Souring

It’s the wrong Hanwell. They refer to Hanwell near Banbury, Oxfordshire

You know that. I know that. We can keep that between us, can’t we?

According to the National Fruit Collection, the Hanwell Souring (Malus Domestica ‘Borkh’) comes under a variety of synonyms, but we don’t have it yet in our collection of 53 apple trees of 23 varieties. 

We might just have missed the boat for the tree purchase for 2019, but hey there’s always 2020 to look forward to!

Onwards!

We are pleased to report the successful completion of the 2018 annual general meeting, which was held on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. The short minutes are: all approved, nothing changed. Move on.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who came to attend this important affair.

Detailed official minutes and finance reports are available here: HANGOT AGM 2018 final mins 06.11.2018Finance Report for AGM 2018.

Meanwhile, to good orcharding continues: Some volunteers have sown the Yellow Rattle seed collected earlier this year at the Piggeries Orchard to help with biological and self-sustained meadow management. Other members are busy preparing for the planting of trees to replace those which we lost to fire, draught or vandalism.

Orchard activities will slow down with the exception of the members’ Christmas Party on Friday December 14th until the new year, when we plan to resume our regular activities on the second Saturday in each month, starting Saturday January 12th.

Watch this space for detail.

Autumn Orchard Picnic

rainy-picnicWhy not come along and join our casual

Autumn Orchard Picnic

Tomorrow, Sunday October 14th, in Jubilee Meadow (by the sheep) a private residence due to foul weather from 13:00

See our schedule page for location details.

The weather is going to be just fine this time! (Oh no it won’t!)

It’s the perfect opportunity to see the beautiful Hanwell Meadows, catch up with the latest orchard news and plans and join or meet our group of orchard and picnic enthusiasts.

Bring a friend, a child, a dog, a spouse and a smile. Bring food and drink to the sharing table if you like to, but please be prepared to take back leftovers and bring no more than your own party would consume. We’d love to keep  food and plastic waste to a minimum.

Scything Course

IMG_20180915_161821For those who took part, as a memory. For those who didn’t, as a reminder on what they missed: here are some photos and a timelapse video from last week’s scything course.

10 participants enjoyed relaxed expert tuition under scything instructor Clive Leeke. Once background knowledge was established and everyone was fitted with tools, we moved on to  cut approximately half an acre of mixed-vegetation meadow in St Margaret’s Open Space.

Even Ealing Council officials were impressed!

Our thanks to the Fox for use of their premises for the opening and closing parts, and our thanks to Ealing Council and contractors for their support in this effort.

 

A-maz-ing

IMG_20180904_190059Just in case you didn’t know: Nature is amazing!

Its been one month to the day when a small grass fire burnt some of Blackberry Corner in the Hanwell Meadows.

First came the fire. Next came the local volunteers with water buckets, followed by the fire brigade, followed by more bucket-carrying volunteers.

Next came flocks of pigeons, which were enjoying seeds or insects among the burnt grass.

Look at it now. It’s been only four weeks and you can barely see where it was! The meadow is already lush with regrown grass again, only those parts with poor soil still expose some of the burnt surface. One of the burnt trees shows signs of life. Truly amazing.