Bowling Park Community Orchard Task List

Bowling Park Community orchard

Friday 4th August, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Pk Drive

Continuing construction of compost bins and shelter repairs and orchard management.  

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Thursday 3rd August, 2017
in allotments Bowling Park Drive

Continuing with shelter roof and moving compost bins

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 28th July, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

We made a great start today with some of the infrastructure improvements that we are undertaking over the next few months. We removed the perished roofing of the large shelter and aim to replace it next week, working on Thursday and Friday. 

The main sections of compost bins will be moved to make way for the shed to be built, and a great start was made in clearing these and establishing areas for the bins to be relocated. 

The scythes were useful for cutting the taller vegetation including areas of nettles, ground elder and hogweed. Our mower has been stolen so we it was less easy to shorten the edges of the main path and the paths through the long grass. 

We were pleased to see quite a few small frogs plus a number of moths, butterflies and a patrolling Brown Hawker dragonfly. 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Wednesday 14th June, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

A fine sunny day. We continued to dig out the compost bin and weed around the trees. The veg beds and some of the trees were successfully weeded by the Shaping Spaces group, who also mowed pathways and path edges. 

We continued this work on Saturday 17th with te Friends of BPCO gropu session. We also had a good go at the ground elder and bind weed, spread compost around the trees, thinned out the apples on some of the trees. 

Blossom day at Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 12th May, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

The blossom started very early this year – quite a few trees were in bloom when we were working on our Saturday session on April 15th, however we were pleased to see that there was still a lot of blossom out and the orchard was looking good. 

It’s the first time we have had blossom on Blossom Day since 2015. It’s a shame we didn’t manage to attract more visitors today, but for the regular volunteer group it was a successful day’s work. And with added sustenance of cakes and apple goodies. 

The vegetation has grown a lot in the last three weeks so the key tasks were mowing (especially the ground elder), cutting under the trees and mulching to suppress the weeds. We have plenty of straw to mulch with (they were the seats at Apple Day last year) but as we started the job we realised there was a bumble bees’ nest in the pile. Although we had already disturbed them, we re-covered the remaining bales and hope they stay put. 

During this summer we will be relocating and building new compost bins. We started the process of digging out the neglected brick compost area. It has a lot of good compost that we will feed the trees with once we have removed the weed roots. 

 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 27th January, 2017
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

27 Jan 2017A reluctant start today, the coldest Friday morning we have had for a while, even feeling colder than in the snow at Lower Fields. The minibus took quite a bit of coaxing before we could set off. 

The trees were covered in frost when we arrived, not ideal for pruning, so we started the morning on more active jobs; turning the compost heaps, digging out misplaced raspberry canes from next to the Egremont Russet and continuing with laying the hedge near the seating area. 

The hedgelaying team (probably the smallest number you can class as a team) did an excellent job and completed the entire stretch.  We will need to take some remedial action on the pallet fence behind which has nails sticking though, but apart from that the work has made a massive improvement - creating habitat whilst keeping the hedge below the 5ft limit. Well done. 

We couldn’t really leave without doing any pruning – we had a new tool to try out. We have bought a lopper attachment for the pole, so we can reach into the branches and to higher branches. The rope pulley system reduces the effort needed and the ability to change the angle of the cutting head was very satisfying!

In addition we took compost to the orchard and some twigs and timber as kindling for our wassail for on Sunday. And people took some soft apples away for garden blackbirds; ideal to attract them for RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. 

 Have a look at the orchard gallery here 

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 9th December, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

The two main tasks today were hedgelaying of the perimeter hedge near the shelter and veg beds. We made a good start clearing the branches from the front of the hedge, making the stakes and laying some of the pleachers. Once finished the hedge will create a good wildlife habitat whilst remaining within the height restrictions for the allotment. 

The other team made a start on pruning the apple trees. We also make a start by removing dead, diseased and damaged branches, but we also made an effort to remove lower branches from the trees, the ones that once loaded with fruit sit on the floor, and also prevent easy picking from other branches. Several trees are too congested throughout, and a selection of branches were cut out to allow easier picking and more air and light circulation. 

We were pleased to welcome some of the YMCA NCS group who helped with the pruning and making stakes, and heating the Kelly kettle.  

We will continue with these tasks on 27th January 2017.

APPLE DAY at the Orchard

Sunday 16th October, 2016

Event 12-4pm.

Preparation starts 8.30am, clear up ends about 5.30pm.

Please let us know if you plan to volunteer so we can discuss times and transport.

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 14th October, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive, BD4

We got wet today, but we preserved to make sure the Orchard was ready for Apple Day on Sunday. We continued with the autumn task of cutting the long grass and weeding under the trees. We did a little bit of harvesting, but left some to do with visitors on Sunday. The path had a bit more weeding and bark spread on it. Paulina did a great job of marking the two young trees with a decorative willow structure.

Bowling Park Community Orchard

Friday 23rd September, 2016
in the allotments on Bowling Park Drive

We arrived at the orchard today having been told our tenancy had been ended. It wasn't just the belief that this was the result of a clerical error (we had returned letters on time to accept a notice of bad cultivation and signed to say our intention was to improve), but because we know the orchard is a highly productive allotment, growing loads of organic apples, many varieties that you cannot buy in the shops. Whilst we know that we hadn't done enough work this summer, and we need to address that next year if we wish to keep the orchard going, we will continue to cultivate following guidelines from Garden Organic, the national research organisation that provides advice to professional and amateur gardeners. 

Today we were busy with the scythes and sickles to start the late summer grass cut. A new bench was installed, using reclaimed timber, and others were fixed with timberlocks. The collection of the gravel for the path was thwarted by padlock technicalities, however this was resolved on Tuesday 27th when Forest of Bradford volunteers dropped it off and helped with further tasks. 

Although the ripening of apples is relatively late (blossom was late this year) we are now in full flow. Make sure you are contacting us for all your apple shopping.