First things first


Friday, 27 January 2012

Extending the Orchard

On January 8th, Transition Westcombe and many wonderful helpers successfully planted a further six fruit trees in the East Greenwich Pleasaunce, with the kind support of the Greenwich Pride award and the London Orchard Project, doubling the size of this new community orchard following last winter’s planting of an initial six trees
We had around 12 volunteers, including our own core team of 6 plus family members, new recruits, passers-by, several children, the head of the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, and one ward councillor (Alex Grant).
From the London Orchard Project, we had the help of David Blair, project manager, and Lewis McNeill. The two of them brought the trees, bare-rooted two-year olds; stakes and guards; equipment including spades, hammers, and fencing tools; and mulch mats.
In addition, Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces ensured that a supply of lovely mulch was on site in good time, sufficient for the new planting as well as for re-mulching the older trees.
The new plantings, which have added interest to a less-used portion of the park, include three varieties of apple, one of them a St Edmund's Pippin; a Doyenne de Comice pear; a Czar plum; and a gage. They'll add further to the biodiversity, wildlife and habitat value of the Pleasaunce, and act as a focus for future community activities, which might include an Apple Day and wassailing.
Creating the orchard has also inspired local people to become further involved with planting and biodiversity work and has forged new community links, with the orchard care maintenance group working with the generous help of the Meantime Nursery to plant an experimental wildflower strip in the Pleasaunce.
Photos courtesy of Gavin McGregor and Lara Ruffle

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Tree Planting: the Memorial Orchard is growing!

On Sunday January 8th, 1:00-3:30 pm, at the East Greenwich Pleasaunce, come ring in the new year by helping to plant trees- six more fruit trees to double the size of the Memorial Orchard and celebrate local food growing initiatives. We'll be putting in three apple trees, a plum, a gage, and a pear- the delicious Doyenne de Comice- all carefully protected with stakes and strong wire cages.

Last year's planting of six trees was a great success, and they have flourished through a hot dry spring and autumn. Thanks to the Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces Department, the Greenwich Pride Award scheme, Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, and the volunteers who kept the trees watered and pest-free (asa far as organic methods make possible), we should be harvesting fruit in three years time.

All are welcome, for the planting, and to join the team of volunteers to help keep the trees growing through the year.