Pickering Road Community Orchard
By Melanie Fullard
Did you know that Hull has its very own community orchard right here in Pickering Road? Neither did I until recently! It's situated at the end of Cranberry Way near the Five Ways roundabout (Just behind the allotments.)
The orchard was opened in 2004 with grants from the National Lottery, Hull City Council and the NHS Trust at
a time when allotments were still very unfashionable; nowadays you cannot get one for love nor money.
It's a wonderful place; a little piece of countryside without the long drive and bored kids. The orchard itself has around 400 apple trees boasting 22 varieties, not to mention the pears and plums. How many of us can name more than two variety of apple? Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious was about it for me.
Hands up anyone that's ever tasted a Ribston Pippin or a Newton's Wonder? For an extra point, who can guess what a Pitmaston Pineapple tastes like? Who would have thought apples could be so interesting?
Just as you enter the orchard there's a wild flower garden. It has a small pond that's presently full of newts and a Hibernia; an insect's tower block to you and me.
There are also bees. The local bees went very high rise and have taken over the bird boxes. The posh bees live in detached hives and produce delicious local honey. This is for sale and very popular, so get in there quick. It also has a picnic area which anyone can use (if it ever stops raining!)
Kestrels live in the nearby Poplar trees and you'll hear the Spotted Woodpecker well before you see him.
There are a variety of events from January to October. January sees the 'Wassailing'; a festive drinking celebration held around the twelfth night.
May brings the May Day celebrations along with their very own lady Morris Side, The Raving Maes. No funny hats or jingling bells, these gals wear Basques and boots and look great. There's nothing like a bit of lingerie to enhance fertility!
Harvest is usually mid August to October with open days throughout. For a membership of £2, you can help yourself to 2kg (5lb) of the apples of your choice. You can have them whole, juiced or pressed; the juice is wonderful and very tasty.
Why not treat it like a Green Gym? Don't waste money on costly memberships, come for free and help out on Thursday morning's from10am till 2pm. All ages welcome.
You can also assist your local community and other local charities as the orchard donates fruit to schools, Dove House Hospice and local hostels. So your help goes a long way.
Right then! Get your Wellies on and come along and help Sue and Bob. They need a well deserved tea break; 400 trees is a lot of pruning! After all, it is Jubilee year, so let's dig for victory! Your community orchard needs you!
Thanks to Yvette Grindley.
For more info email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvette Grindley, events organizer – email@example.com Facebook
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