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UK Community Orchard Started

  • Subject: [cg] UK Community Orchard Started
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 13:08:23 -0500

Eat healthy - straight from the orchard
18 January 2006 
A new orchard is to be planted at Seaton primary school tomorrow to help children learn about the importance of eating fruit as part of a healthy lifestyle. 

The apple trees - all of them varieties with some connection to East Devon - are to planted as part of a project funded by East Devon Primary Care Trust in partnership with East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The orchard is part of the five-a-day project, supported by the BIG lottery fund, which encourages people to eat more fruit and vegetables. 

People in England eat, on average, fewer than three portions of fruit a day, and consumption tends to be lower among children and people on low incomes. 

Clive Essame, from East Devon Primary Care Trust, said: "When we had the idea for a community orchard, it was a question of looking for some land, with people who would use the fruit and gain from the whole experience.

"We were delighted when Seaton primary school said it would like to become involved. We can see that the children of Seaton will be benefiting from these apple trees for years to come." 

He added: "By growing apple trees in school, the children will develop a good understanding of where fruit comes from, how it grows, and - with any luck - they will get interested in gardening generally. We also hope they will enjoy eating the fruit when it comes."

The apple trees, which were grown at Talaton Plants near Ottery St Mary, will start to produce in two years and be at full production in five years, giving crops for generations to come. 

There are dessert apples and juice apples, which were originally used for cider. 

All of the varieties of apple planted have some local connection. Many were developed in East Devon, including Tom Putt which originally came from Gittisham and was named after Thomas Putt (1722-87), a barrister, who perfected it, and who planted the Beech Walk on Gittisham Hill.

The five-a-day project has compiled an Orchard Handbook to go with the trees, supplied rabbit guards and stakes and secateurs for pruning.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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