Horfield Organic Community Orchard
Horfield Organic Community Orchard was set up in 1998. A small group of hardworking volunteers took on some very overgrown plots on the edge of an allotment association site in Bristol. They cleared the ground, composted like crazy, and over the years planted 100 different fruiting trees, bushes and vines. Originally set up as a project of Avon Organic Group, in spring 2011 a member-led group was set up to manage the orchard as an independent community food project.
The orchard is planted to show that local grown fruit can be eaten and enjoyed all year round. Summer brings soft fruit, plums and cherries. Early apples and pears usually ripen in July. Later varieties are harvested until November. With good storage these fruits mature and keep through the winter, lasting until spring Rhubarb returns. To view pictures of our beautiful orchard, please see here.
During 2013 Members celebrated the 15th anniversary of the orchard with the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Orchard Roots Bristol (ORB) - a community history project to explore, and celebrate, the living heritage of fruit growing in the Golden Hill area of Bristol. ORB also traces the roots back to traditional orchards in Bristol and beyond - particularly into Gloucestershire and Somerset.
A Home Orchard Plot (HOP) on the former polytunnel site is being part-funded by a Well Being grant from Bishopston Redland Cotham Neighbourhood Partnership. This project will show inspiring ways to grow and care for fruit in the small spaces available to urban fruit growers.
Working members, who are volunteers, manage all tasks - everything from compost making and harvesting, to bookkeeping and public events. Membership is open to individuals, households and organisations. More information can be found here.
The orchard is open to the public for special events during the year including Apple Day in October and the traditional Wassail in January. More information on upcoming public events can be found here.