Saturday, July 4, 2009

October 2008 - February 2009

I first started to notice that the orchards were no longer being farmed during the summer of 2008. The grass had not been cut for several years and no pruning had been undertaken. I went for a coffee with the farmers to find out more. It transpired that they had recently retired and no longer farmed any of their land, with the arable and pasture leased out and the orchards left to their own devices. Old apple trees with a long history of yearly pruning become unable to tolerate a long break in maintenance since the weight in wood from several years growth can break branches and even split trunks. It is an agricultural environment that needs to be maintained through constant management, especially with the vigorous Bramley variety. I decided that if I didn't try and save the orchards, there was a good chance they would be lost.

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