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Orchard Learning Programme and short courses

New for 2019! Orchard Learning short courses

An introduction to planning and caring for
Fruit Growing in Small Spaces
One-day course
Saturday 27 April, 10am - 4pm

Are you growing fruit in your garden or allotment? Do you wish to grow fruit but don't have a garden? Not sure what to grow? This course introduces all you need to know about soil, light, choosing varieties, and ways to produce plenty of fruit in small spaces.

Participants will learn from the Home Orchard Plot, and other examples of tree fruit and soft fruit growing in Horfield Organic Community Orchard. They will take away a plan of action at the end of the day.

Shannon Smith is a knowledgeable and down-to-earth tutor. She has been growing fruit in cities and towns for more than 30 years - in containers, gardens, allotments and orchards.

Course fee £45, £30 (HOCO members*)
This one-day course is also offered on Saturday 15 June

Pruning & caring for Stone fruit trees - Plum, Greengage, Damson, Apricot, Cherry

Weekend workshop

Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 June, 10am - 4pm

At their best, home-grown plums, gages and apricots are luscious orbs of heaven on earth. They are a world away from dry and disappointing shop-bought fruits. Caring for stone fruit trees is not the same as apples and pears, and many gardeners are confused by the differences.

This weekend workshop shows how to care for these most delicious fruits. Participants learn from, and work with, a range of trees of different varieties and ages growing in Horfield Organic Community Orchard. The course covers pruning and training, managing pests and diseases, and choosing what to grow.

Course fee £75, £60 (HOCO members*)

or contact us for a pdf form, and with any questions.

Weekend Pruning Workshops

Three weekend workshops. Can be booked separately.

Course fee £60 (HOCO members*), £75 (non-members), each course.

8 places                         Some fruit growing experience needed.

Learn by doing, and gain hands-on experience and confidence to:

·      Form and train young trees

·      Renew established free-standing and trained trees

·      Restore old trees

Pruning - Dormant season Apple & pear trees

Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 March, 10am-4pm

Pruning & Caring for Stone fruit trees - Plum, greengage, damson, apricot & cherry

Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 June, 10am-4pm

Pruning - Growing season – Apple & pear trees

Saturday 20 July & Sunday 21 July, 10am-4pm

Day courses

Planning and caring for fruit grown in small spaces - an introduction

Course fee £30 (HOCO members*), £45 (non-members). Each day is a separate course

8 places                         No previous experience needed.

Saturday 27 April, 10am-4pm

Saturday 15 June, 10am-4pm

Growing season pruning of Apples & Pears – an introduction

Course fee £45 (HOCO members*), £60 (non-members)

6 places                         No previous experience needed

Saturday 27 July, 10am-4pm

Please apply for courses using this link:
Or contact us for a pdf form, and with any questions.

Orchard Learning Programme 2019
Course dates, outline & information
9-months from March-November
The programme is designed for participants with some previous experience of growing tree fruit (e.g. apple, pear, plum)
Course fee, £125, plus HOCO membership*, £25/£20
10 places

This course is no longer taking bookings

Orchard Learning is a hands-on and holistic programme. Learning with others is practical and fun. Participants will gain experience, knowledge, skills, and confidence to care for fruit trees for years to come.

The Orchard Learning Programme guides participants through a growing season in an established community orchard. It begins as the soil is stirring, and trees, as well as pests and diseases, are waking up from dormancy. It follows the fruiting arc from blossom, pollination and fruit set, to development, ripening and harvest. During the course participants learn to tune in to, and be guided by, the characteristics and needs of individual trees of different ages, varieties, and conditions.




Saturday 2 March


Introduction to HOCO

Meet your Tree Buddies

Saturday 6 April


Pruning (1) Dormant season

Apple and pear trees

Saturday 4 May


Soil Food Web

Feed, weed, mulch

Saturday 1 June


Healthy trees

Pests, diseases, disorders

Saturday 6 July


Pruning (2) Growing season

Plums and fruit thinning

Saturday 3 August


Pruning (3) Growing season

Apple, pear, and trained forms

Saturday 7 September


Harvest, storage and preservation;

Pruning review

Saturday 5 October


Diversity and resilience;

Pruning review

Saturday 2 November


Planning, planting & problem-solving;

Course review

Saturday 2 November - tbc

time tbc

End of programme Celebration meal


*Participants agree to be/become members of Horfield Organic Community Orchard, and can join as a Harvest-share or Friend member (more information about membership here). Members share responsibility for looking after a pioneering community orchard, and helping to organise successful community events.

Apply using this link: or contact us for a pdf form, and with any questions.

Get Growing Fruit Trees - an introduction

Sundays:  3 March, 5 May, 7 July, 8 September, 2pm-4.30pm

Course fee £60 (HOCO members*), £75 (non-members)

This course is no longer taking bookings

8 places                         No previous experience needed.

·      March - Know your trees, their care needs, site, and soil

·      May - Pests, diseases, disorders

·      July - Pruning – why and how

·      September - Harvest, storage & preservation

Horfield Orchard,
29 Nov 2018, 03:34
Horfield Orchard,
29 Nov 2018, 03:29
Horfield Orchard,
29 Nov 2018, 03:05