We can always learn how to do things better!
In addition to learning heritage orchard crafts, we have worked with botanists and naturalists from the National Fruit Collection to make sure that our volunteers keep up to date with modern techniques for continuing to improve the yield and condition of our Traditional Orchard sites.
We have produced a range of practical resources to help you to maintain a health orchard.
OLD AND NEW TOGETHER
Whilst many of the practical methods of caring for the trees have barely changed, scientific advances have greatly improved the accuracy of our identification of their crops.
This newspaper report of a local orchard skills training event in Ross on Wye in 1910 describes the ‘wine-glass’ method of pruning still used today – see the photo below the report for a contemporary example.
In the past, many identification processes relied on close observations of stones, skins, seeds, colours, tastes, smells and shapes of the fruit. We still use these sensory aids, but these days, botanists at the National Fruit Collection are able to use DNA analysis to confirm our conclusions.