Our orchard sits on A southWest facing Bank of the Fal River Valley
Our 3 acre orchard began on a green field in 2014. The soil has low fertility, is free draining and slightly acid. We have grafted, grown and trialed some 80 apple varieties from Cornwall, Somerset, Brittany and Normandy with names to conjure including: Antoinette, Captain John Broad, Collogett Pippin, Cornish Longstem, Frequin Rouge Petit, Mettais, Mylor Pyke, Petit Jaune and Tan Harvey.
The orchard has a small stand of Perry Pears too: Barland, Butt, Oldfield, Parsonage, Stinking Bishop, Taynton Squash and Yellow Huffcap. In 2019 they produced about 900 litres of Perry Pear juice. Perry ready by Easter 2020.
We keep only those varieties with outstanding taste, that thrive in Cornwall’s warm moist climate and are trouble and disease-free.
Choice of apple variety is essential in creation of a cider. Each sort has its own character. Blending of sweet, bittersweet, bitter and sharp varieties allows balance. The ratio of bitter and bittersweet apples defines the cider while sharper varieties provide freshness.
We don’t spray against pests and diseases, or use herbicide to control grass. A species-rich sward present around trees means crop yield is some 30% lower. However we have grass snakes, slow worms, voles, shrews, moles, badgers, foxes, bats, ground-nesting bees, honey bees, the occasional deer and breeding families of Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests, Wrens, Black Caps, Chiff Chaffs, House Sparrows and Siskins.
Our orchard is now recognized nationally as a Priority Habitat.
We are part way through Organic Certification with some 3 years to go before our produce may be labelled as such.