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Digging in for the winter

Autumn comes to River View Pateley

The leaves are starting to fall and it is time to think about the orchard plans at River View Pateley.

The apple pruning workshop I went to earlier in the year paid dividends on our existing tree. We were rewarded with a bucket load of apples this year. Some of them are in makeshift storage in the barn. The rest went to a very talented neighbour who busied herself making jam.

She sent over a view jars the other week - Blackberry and Apple, Apple and Elderberry, and her very own Damson and Pear and Raspberry. Everything is delicious, and more inspiration to grow more of our own.

A local expert earlier in the year told me that the traditional farmer's orchard would have had apples for as much of the year as possible. It was part of family pride that they could produce an apple pie with the last of one year's apples and the first of the next.

This is something we are trying to achieve with our orchard. We have more than 20 Yorkshire varieties to choose from and are aiming for as wide a spread as possible . The only difficulty is selecting the 1o or so we will plant this year.

The upcoming Apple Week should help us decide, with even the rare varieties available for tasting. Then it's onwards and upwards with planning spacing and digging holes.... and plenty of time over the winter to research some jam-making recipes.

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