Groundworks Leicester & Leicestershire

On 14 Oct 07 there was an interesting event held at The Orchards Reserve, Leicester, off Groby Rd, which was attended by Leicestershire Heritage Apples Project. This nature reserve is on the site of old allotments, containing a profusion of fruit trees - mainly apple and plum. Varieties of apple found there include Dumelow's Seedling, Bess Pool, Winter Quarrenden, Lane's Prince Albert and Howgate Wonder - which holds the record for the world's biggest apple, at a little under 4lbs.

Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire - a registered charity which carries out a varied programme, including management of the reserve for wildlife and for people, held their "Scrumptious Scrump" - to attract local people into the reserve and increase awareness of what grows there.

Activities included apple juicing, children (and adults) fishing for apples, trying out local produce (pickles, chutneys, apple cake) and propogating new plum trees by cuttings. There was also a small display of apples grown locally, including "Red Devil" (a red-fleshed type) and guidance on grafting.


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Bramley juice - rather tart but refreshing; Ribston juice - much sweeter, made from the classic Yorkshire apple, the fruit gathered from another of the Leicester reserves.


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All commercial apples are produced on grafted trees. When you buy an apple from a supermarket it's from an artificially constructed tree, made from a rootstock (which supplies the roots) and a twig from your chosen tree (say Braeburn) which is spliced into the stem, from which all the branches grow.


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The varieties on show were: (first picture, clockwise from top): Laxton's Fortune, Dumelow's Seedling, May Queen, Lane's Prince Albert, D'Arcy Spice, Dartmouth Crab, Yellow Ingestrie, a rootstock apple, and Bramley (centre);

Second picture: Crawley Beauty, May Queen, Howgate Wonder, Egremont Russet, Cox's Orange, Wyken Pippin, Wyggeston Pippin, Winter Quarrenden, and Peasgood Nonsuch (centre).


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An interesting selection of country produce, including apple cake, pickled walnuts and plum chutneys.

N.D, Diversity website

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