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Orchard Learning Programme and short courses

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

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.

Please apply for your place for Orchard Learning 2019 by Saturday 16 February 2019.

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

New for 2019! Orchard Learning short courses

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)

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

Weekend Pruning courses

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 - Growing season – Stone fruit trees - Plum, gage, damson

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

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