Planning a new orchard? Active in a community orchard? Professional gardener looking after fruit trees? Growing many different fruit trees in your garden or allotment?
The Orchard Learning Programme guides participants through a growing season in an established community orchard. It begins in March as the soil is stirring, and trees, as well as pests and diseases, are waking up from dormancy; and follows the fruiting arc from blossom, pollination and fruit set, to development, ripening and harvest. During the course participants learn to tune in to, and be guided by, the characteristics and needs of individual trees of different ages, varieties, and conditions.
This nine-month course (March to November) is ideal for those with previous fruit growing experience who want to deepen their knowledge and practice. It is recommended for anyone starting up, or involved with, a community orchard project.
The course, now in its third year, takes place in the rich and diverse outdoor learning environment of Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO). Participants work with real trees, and learn by doing. They are led by Shannon Smith, a knowledgeable and down-to-earth tutor.
Group sizes are small, and early application is advised.