Today’s shout out goes to The Orchard Project: a charity dedicated to the creation and restoration of community orchards. Their aim is to ‘re-fruit’ the country, putting power and knowledge back in the hands of the local community and creating a ‘better, locally-led food system’.
The project started out in London, aiming to re-connect urban communities with their local and little-known orchards. Many urban orchards are now under threat, mainly because of land development pressure and the absence of legal protection, but also through neglect at the hands of a population who lack the skills needed to keep them thriving. In response to this, they set up workshops and courses for planting and maintaining community orchards.
In addition to orchard care, they also run harvesting, apple pressing, and bottling days. They make Local Fox Cider and London Apple Juice entirely from apples grown across the capital. They welcome donations from all over London from gardens to orchards. And, if you bring your fruit they give you back 50% of the juice or cider that is made from it. All proceeds are used to help continue to maintain and rejuvenate London’s forgotten orchards, and to train communities in orchard skills.
Today we went along to help them out on one of their harvesting trips in North London:
The apples were the best we’ve ever tasted 😉