Ryan’s Farm – Cider Orchard

Cider Orchard

I’m guessing the title got your attention?

At the back of the plot, the other side of bed 7 is a patch of open ground that previously housed a polytunnel. This is in part because a tenant from long ago dumped loads of ceramic waste into the ground here, and subsequent tenants have just covered it up. Well, I wasn’t very happy about that, and have grand plans for that area (as my title implies), so there was nothing for it but to grease my elbows and dig it all out.

Here you can make out the white rubble in the ground. I’d already made a start by this point but it did fill the length of that trench.
This whole trench was filled with the rubble
And this is what I dug out. It looks to be old sinks, bathroom tiles and grout and so on

When the controls over movement have lifted I will loads this into trugs and take it to the local recycling centre but for now at least it’s out of the ground. But that did leave me with this massive trench…

Well in my earlier articles I mentioned the challenge I was having breaking up the clods on the potato patch; not far below all of the clods was some lovely soil, so I used a rake to drag the clods off and into the trench – filling the trench and revealing some nice soil for the potatoes

The clods proved useful for something

The ground to the left of the trench was fairly elevated, so I broke it up and used the rake to level it off, and it’s worked quite well. I imagine that after some rain I will see it sink, but I can order in some topsoil and finish it properly later

So, now I have the ground sitting there doing nothing. I know its a bit too rough for a normal crop, it hasn’t been properly cultivated for over 10 years. Thing is, I am also something of an occasional home-brewer, and it struck me that a couple of dwarf-variety apple trees would look lovely here, and when they start to crop properly would give an abundance of apples that I could use to make the greatest Southern nectar – scrumpy.

So that is my plan; lay turf over this area to keep it under control and make it look nice, then plant in a couple of dwarf apple trees (cider trees are generally quite small and heavy cropping anyway) so that once they’re established I have an orchard of dwarf trees, a dwarfchard, if you will, from which I can make my own scrumpy. If they’re cultivated and the scrumpy is made by a Devonian, it still counts as Devon cider, right?

One thought on “Ryan’s Farm – Cider Orchard

  1. I saw that empty trench and immediately thought “asparagus bed” since the first job in doing one is digging a trench! Apples will be lovely, and you can underplant for dual purpose!


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