Dry Arch Growers – Fifty Apple Trees and a Wassail

A blowy January morning in Bathampton at the Dry Arch Growers site saw a large gathering of volunteers to plant young apple trees with a wassail in the afternoon to drive out the evil spirits and encourage good fortune. Hard work by many people had the trees planted by early afternoon, well staked, fed and happy in their new location. These new trees join some four year old apples planted for the local primary school who had no space for them.

There was great spirit and enthusiasm among the volunteers and there was even warming homemade soup at lunch time. Dry Arch Growers are a Bathampton Community Co-operative group of people from Bathampton and the surrounding area who are bringing a six acre market garden back into production for the benefit of the local community. Their members contribute towards the work in supplying the veg boxes, some learning about food growing for the first time. Dry Arch Growers produce fruit not only for the veg boxes, but apples for juicing, see their website for all their activities.

There were some old, not very productive fruit trees already on site from the original market garden, Avon Gardens Trust were happy to contribute towards the planting of new apple trees. In the event they raised matching funding by subscription so enabling fifty young trees to be purchased. The varieties include James Grieve, Worcester Permain, Discovery, Laxton Superb and Blenheim Orange. The workload on the site will be shared in future between Dry Arch Growers and Broadlands Orchard Share. The Broadlands volunteers had their site sold from under them and are now re-establishing themselves at Wellow with a 100 tree orchard and will be taking care of the fruit trees at Dry Arch leaving the Dry Arch volunteers concentrating on the vegetables.

We look forward to a continuing relationship with Dry Arch Growers.

Wendy Pollard