The last three weeks have seen our day-to-day lives change dramatically. These are discombobulating times, as we all adapt to our new parameters of movement, our new routines, changing business needs and ways of communicating. But amidst the anxiety and fears for loved ones, we are seeing heartening new forms of community support and cohesion emerge. Movements like #CovidSolidarity, rapturous doorstep applause for the NHS and platforms like Covid Mutual Aid are lifting people’s spirits, providing vital support for the vulnerable and uniting people through digital platforms. Not for decades has the value of local, small-scale, community action been more evident, nor more acutely felt.
While we are currently unable to support our orchard groups in person, we will be staying in touch through e-newsletters and social media to maintain our orchard community. Look out for our live stream ‘Orchard Surgeries’ coming soon, – where you can join online to ask our experts your burning questions on fruit growing. If your orchard is not within reach of your daily exercise limits, now’s the time to tend to that raspberry cane or apple tree in the garden and get some advice. There will even be a live grafting workshop winging it way into your living room soon!
To help you stay connected to nature while housebound, join our #WildlifeFromMyWindow and #BlossomWatch series on social media by sharing your own photos. We’ll also be sharing interesting blog posts written by our team on all things orchards.
Finally, if you’re a parent adjusting to home-schooling, do take a look at our free, orchard-themed Key Stage 2 lesson plans. Each one includes clear timeframes and learning outcomes aligned with the National Curriculum.
Our Primary School Activities may also be useful. They cover a variety of subjects; from orchard insect lifecycles and maths by fruit-thinning, to dried apple-ring making. Guaranteed to bring the natural world into the house!
Finally, here’s a useful guide to coping with this turbulent time, and maintaining mental wellbeing.
Stay safe and well everyone; stay indoors and look after each other. Our thoughts and best wishes are with anyone whose health is comprised.