There are 10 new year-old apple trees on Twenty Pound Meadow, doubling the size of the communal orchard and promising a juicy harvest in a few years time.
When choosing which trees to plant, we went for a range: some for their Oxford connections (Oxford Conquest, Blenheim Orange) or because they were good juicers from close-by (Ashmeads Kernal, Winter King). Some are historic, harking back as far as Roman times (Court Pendu Plat, Kidds Orange). And some are just good all round ‘doers’ – Cox’s Orange Pippin, Pixie and Suntan.
Each new tree has a designated ‘adopter’ from amongst Twenty Pound members. The ‘adopter’ has planted it and will prune and water regularly over the first year.
Soon, there will be signs for each new tree to tell its history, illustrate its apple, and explain its pruning requirements. We hope people will come and visit – the orchard is at the end of the main road, by the bonfire site – and perhaps visitors will return to watch them grow or to notice how and when to prune both new and established trees.
Many thanks to Gus Fagan who sourced the trees and created a handy downloadable planting and pruning guide. Thanks to the many adopters, too. Planting these trees was a positive way to finish an often difficult year.