This community-supported orchard project was started by members of Avon Organic Group in 1998 on the Horfield (H&DAA) allotment site between Bishop Road and Longmead Avenue. The orchard is home to about 100 fruiting trees, including local, unusual, and historic varieties of plum, apple and pear. It also has cherries, apricots, medlar, quince, grape vines, nuts, and soft fruit.The Orchard is a little piece of countryside set amongst the houses of Bishopston and Horfield.
It is open to the public on Apple Day in October (usually the third Sunday). Local people are invited to wander, find out more about the varieties grown, as well as sample the wide range of apples. All ages are encouraged to have a go at apple pressing, and to taste the delicious juice produced. In January the orchard is wassailed – trees are decorated, and toasted, to wish them good health for the year ahead and encourage a rich harvest.Working members manage all aspects of the orchard – everything from planning and planting, to pruning, composting, and harvesting.
Working meetings take place on the second-last Saturday of the month - no matter what the weather - and at other times by arrangement. Supporting members are invited to special celebrations, and to take part in training days. The group is also exploring new ways to include families with young children. Working Membership is open to anyone willing to share the work and the harvests. No previous fruit growing experience is needed. HOCO also welcomes supporting members/friends. To find out more about this lively and hands-on local food project please get in touch.