Revitalising the Allotments – February 2019

Renting an Allotment
I am sure that readers of the Prattler won’t have missed our many messages about the good reasons to rent an allotment. Now is the perfect time to adopt a plot. The weather should, by the time you read this article, have started to warm up and the days will certainly be getting longer. Why not give allotmenteering a go and grow your own, tasty fruit veg.

Plots of all sizes are available for rent, from the tiniest of spaces to full sized allotments. In almost all cases they are now in a good state to begin cultivating. What better way to get some exercise and work off the pounds you put on over the festive period?

If you are interested, come and have a look at what is on offer and then contact either Sue Corner on 01327 342124 or Lynda Eales on 01327 341707.

Community Orchard
All the trees we ordered have now been planted and are, hopefully growing away nicely. Additional fruit trees have also been added to the impressive hedge that separates the orchard from the new junior football pitch. This will not only look good as it grows on but also provide a rich source for pollinating insects and other wildlife. A big thank you to the Playing Fields for organising this and further enhancing the site.

A full list of the trees we have planted is available for anyone who would like to know more about the fruit on offer. Eventually we hope to label each tree with not only the variety but also some notes about when fruit should be picked and what it is best used for.

The apples, pears and plums that we are familiar with in supermarkets have been avoided. Many of these fruits are often grown to survive being shipped halfway across the world. As a result, taste and variety are sacrificed. By contrast, our orchard is made up of heritage trees, many local to this part of the country and noted for their flavour. And what names they have … “Beauty of Bath”, “Ribston Pippin”, “Deddington Golden”, “Aynho Scarlet” and “Ashmeads Kernel”. We even have a “Flore Plum”. There is poetry in just reading them out!

In the recent past our rich history of fruit growing was in jeopardy, as more and more orchards were lost and trees unique to Britain (and individual counties) were overlooked in favour of massed produced imports. Hopefully that trend is being slowed and, perhaps in some small way, we in Nether Heyford, have done our bit to help.

Do go and look at the orchard. It is ours, the community’s and I am sure the good folk of the Heyfords will do everything they can to help nurture and protect it for future generations.

Mike Langrish

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