THE Get Growing Garden Trail – a showcase for Bristol’s inspiring community food growing projects – takes place over the first weekend in June. The city-wide event is a brilliant opportunity to visit thirty different growing spaces. One of the these, the pioneering Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO), was set up on some former allotment plots in 1998. This year it celebrates its silver anniversary as an orchard project, growing fruit, community, wellbeing, and learning.
Orchard member Shannom Smith said: “It’s hard to believe HOCO is 25 years old. It thrives thanks to all those years of voluntary activity and public support. Planting fruit trees is relatively easy. Looking after them as they grow up, and age, asks more of us. We are delighted to be celebrating HOCO as a successful project, although less-than-perfect, with the potential to keep on growing for another 25 years, or more.”
As an established organic orchard, HOCO is home to microorganisms, fungi, insects, plants, birds, and animals, as well as many varieties of apples, pears and plums.
Visitors to the Summer Orchard Open Day on June 3 will be able to ask fruit growing questions and learn about nature-friendly solutions. They are also invited to take a closer look at experimental projects, such as the passive water capture channel in the Home Orchard Plot area.
Shannon added: “We know the growing conditions of high summer affect the quality and quantity of fruit – in any year and in the following one. We are also concerned about the impacts of climate emergency chaos, and how to prepare and adapt for an unpredictable future. This event is open to all – and we are keen to show and share actions that can help sustain future harvests.”
Home-made cakes and refreshing cordials, as well as plants and produce, will be on sale. The event takes place from 2pm-5pm Refreshments, plants and produce will be on sale.
• How to find Horfield Organic Community Orchard:
Nearest postcode BS7 8JP.
Walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Road & Kellaway Avenue), turn left and it’s the first gate on the right. Or take the lane beside 134 Longmead Avenue Field (BS7 8QQ) until you come to the last gate on the left.
Phone: 0117 373 1587