Site Under Reconstruction
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 a Horfield and District 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.
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. To mark its 20th anniversary year, HOCO supported and hosted a successful year-long Orchard Learning 2018 programme. Orchard Learning courses will be offered again in 2024. More information here.
Orchard Learning Programme 2024, Pruning courses and Get Growing Fruit Trees - an introduction will be open for applications from December 2023. More information & course dates will be updated here.
Apple & Pear Grafting workshops - 2024 dates to be confirmed - more information & booking link here.
To book an Hour with the Apple Tree Lady click here.
Ask the Apple Tree Lady to identify your mystery apples here.
Click here to find out more about HOCO membership for the 2024 growing season. We will be open to new, active, Harvest-share members who are taking part in an Orchard Learning course. Active membership brings many benefits:
Hands-on learning about fruit growing
Green exercise in a beautiful space
A share of the harvest
We welcome supporting members who help keep the orchard afloat with their subscriptions.
Over the winter months of 2016, a Home Orchard Plot (HOP) was planted on the former polytunnel site. Part-funded by a Well Being grant from Bishopston Redland Cotham Neighbourhood Partnership, the project shows inspiring ways to grow and care for fruit in the small spaces available to urban fruit growers.
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.
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.