Recently I was lucky enough to be given a box of little apple flavour clouds. Pastila, a Russian sweet, is made from marshmallowy egg white and apples and was a much loved delicacy in nineteenth century Russia. Then came the Great War followed swiftly by the revolution, and the recipes for Pastila – plus the information on local apple varieties – were lost and production stopped.
We’ll be making noise and singing sweetly to wake the orchard and encourage the sap to rise.
In a community orchard not far from here, the power crazed aphid king Aphidoidea, having plundered all the apple trees in his kingdom, produced an army of winged offspring, the Alates. One by one they landed on an unsuspecting apple tree, ready to spread their darkness…
Earlier this summer the whole London Orchard team, plus friends and family, went to Sunrise Festival accompanied by a pop-up orchard of 21 trees, our juicer, and a ton of pears.
I thought I’d share some exciting happenings from my community orchard wonderings in Hackney. May is a time where it’s all going off orchard-wise, with plenty going on and much to observe.
On a lovely sunny spring morning in February I packed my backpack, tent and pruning tools and headed off from Hackney to Ragman’s Farm which is nestled in Raurdean, the Forest of Dean. After accruing a few days of TOIL from another hectic winter of pruning and mulching, I thought I’d spend a few relaxing days…pruning and mulching, and sleeping under canvas in an organic orchard.
This year we are asking our partner groups if they’d be happy for us to plant one or two ‘experimental’ trees in their orchards so we can begin to build up knowledge of what will thrive here in the city. Permaculture was central to the project’s birth, but it’s only more recently that we’ve been seeking to incorporate its principles into our work.
Halfway through our planting and restoration, this is our busiest time, but train travel means there’s time for a quick blog.
On Saturday 5th Jan 2013, we held a wassail at Claybury Park orchard in Redbridge.