Orchard Roots Bristol

posted 27 Aug 2013, 04:08 by Horfield Orchard   [ updated 27 Aug 2013, 04:37 ]
Horfield Organic Community Orchard project funded by the Heritage Lottery

Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO) has reasons to be cheerful in 2013. It’s fifteen years since a group of dedicated volunteers first began to reclaim a neglected and overgrown corner of an allotment site. Members are celebrating the 15th anniversary with the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Orchard Roots Bristol (ORB) is 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.

Taking place during a growing season, the project promises to be as richly layered as a good compost heap. Using a range of methods and events HOCO members have tapped into connections to foods with roots in the soil beneath the city, to record stories of local residents, pioneering members of the community orchard, a landscape, and its fruiting trees.

These stories will be shared at orchard open days, through the creation of learning activities, maps, displays, and an enhanced website. What goes around comes around - ORB aims to cultivate community knowledge and local heritage to educate, and to inspire participation in local food growing.

The grand finale to ORB is a special Apple Day celebration in the orchard on Sunday 20 October, when the stories gathered during the summer will be featured and shared with the wider public. A new guide to the orchard will be available, to be followed up by a multi-layered website map that supports deeper delving into the history and horticulture of each fruit.