20 August 2014

O...

...is for Orchard...


...a rare sight these days.  At one time many villages and farms would have had an orchard to provide the community or a family with a source of fruit and sometimes nuts.  This orchard is mainly apple with a few pear trees.  The trees would be grown as standards* with grassland underneath which was grazed by livestock or cut for hay.  Most of the orchards that are still around today predate the second world war when small scale mixed farming was the dominant form of farming.  Sadly they are now very much in decline as a result of funding to make land more productive, which often meant they were destroyed or because they are often positioned near to villages and towns and are vulnerable to development, they are classed as agricultural land so have limited legal protection.  I was lucky enough to work right next to an old orchard as my office was in a converted farm building.  We still go and pick the apples every year.

Joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project.

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*a tree that is large about 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide and therefore widely spaced in an orchard setting, with a crown high enough to allow animals to graze beneath without them reaching the branches.


16 comments:

  1. I dream of having an orchard...doubt it will ever happen. Nice that you have a place that you can go and pick apples.

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    1. I too dream of having one, need to find some suitable land first.........at this rate I will be growing the trees for the next generation!

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    2. I dream of having an orchard too, with chickens and bees. I also doubt it will happen, but it's nice to have dreams. We have a lovely little community orchard here, it's only tiny, but I treasure it. It's so nice to take the children there to pick up a few windfalls or pick the odd apple. I always get ridiculously excited when I seen an orchard, especially an old characterful one. In fact I always have to point out an apple tree when I see one. CJ xx

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  2. I'm in Somerset. I've noticed in the last couple of years that they have started to replant orchards. I hope that this is a tide of change. Maybe more a ripple. We have a small orchard in the garden, which reaps more than we need. #AlphabetPhoto

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    1. How wonderful to have your own orchard :). It is good to hear they are replanting them in your area, I think there is a local orchard group round here who are trying to do the same.

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  3. I would love to visit a real orchard! Wasn't it a fantastic idea to have them serving a community? I guess human needs outgrew orchards with time.

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  4. So sad that the orchards are becoming a thing of the past in your country. We too find many of the old orchards dying off as technology and housing lots move in. My grandfather used to own a dairy farm which had been in the family for centuries, and along with it was an extensive apple orchard, set behind a meandering rock wall and "fenced" in by an old-growth forest. It was such a lovely place, and my parents would take Sunday afternoon walks there. I loved trying all the different types of apples that grew in that orchard and taking note of the wildlife that called it their home. I am so sad to say that orchard is no longer there...in it's place are trailors and small homes.

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  5. My mum has apple trees in her garden, such a lovely thing to have! I'm hoping to out some fruit trees into my new garden. Orchards are a lovely thing to see x #alphabetphoto

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  6. How wonderful to be able to pick apples! Where I grew up in Canada there were apple trees everywhere. Many different kids - wild crab apples to old planted sweet eating apple trees. There was even an apple tree in the small garden of the house in the village I mention in this weeks #AlphabetPhoto which bore three or four yellow apples each year. They were a rare delight to eat.

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  7. How wonderful to be able to access a gorgeous old orchard like that! The apples look lovely.We are a bit spoiled in our part of the world for orchards... seems they are becoming popular again now too with more people putting them in when they buy land, which is nice to see!

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  8. The photo is nice to look at. The tree looks so giving. I love giving trees =) #alphabetphoto

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  9. What a lovely picture. My mum and dad have an orchard at the bottom of their garden and I love going down to collect apples, pears and plums x #AlphabetPhoto

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  10. I too live in Somerset so orchards we have a'plenty round here - I love to see the trees at blossom time and then again later in the year when the apples are ripe. We have a weeny apple tree in our garden but it needs more than one to be an orchard doesn't it?! One thing I miss though are the old vaireties which used to be so common - we do sometimes see them for sale at farmers' markets but more often apples tend to be the same few varieties these days.

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  11. Interesting post. How great that you have a place to pick your own apples. There isn't any place around here to buy apples that are not sprayed. We have two apple trees of our own, that produce some pretty ugly apples, but they work for making cider.

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  12. What a lovely photo, I used to work seasonally picking apples on an orchard near where I lived which sadly was broken up and sold off a few years ago. This post has brought back so many memories, thank you :-)

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  13. So many recently built rural housing developments have addresses that include the word orchard or orchards I've noticed. It's no coincidence and make me quite sad. Luckily for me I grew up in a house with an orchard that's still there.

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