We decided to re-establish the old orchard at Swanscoe that had been cut down many years ago to make way for livestock pasture. With no record of the type of fruit trees and no idea how is was laid out, we knew we had some artistic licence! Nearby there were already a pair of 70 year old trees and a couple of 40 year old trees and we had been using them to create some wonderful juices. We decided to plant some unusual varieties alongside the more mainstream, and as the orchard grows we hope to bring you some great flavours to try.
Our first tree was Red Devil planted in 2013, which produces a fantastic red coloured sweet juice that tastes as good as it looks.
We now have over 150 trees including pear, quince, plum and cherry and we're expanding our orchards all the time.
As well as the hard fruits, we grow soft ones too. We have raspberries, strawberries, tayberries, blackberries, blueberries, loganberries, and blueberries and I'm sure there's more.......... gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants!!!
Everything we grow, we process and package ourselves and it's all done in Swanscoe. So our carbon footprint is pretty low and that's important to us.
We are not registered organic but like to think we go one better . . . our 'Swanscoe principles' are that we don't use any chemicals or fertilisers on our trees - which means we have to spend ages checking each tree for pests and dealing with them the hard way!
The honey bees . . . and orchard honey
We're very excited to have the very lovely Hillbrook Apiaries helping us out with their little pollinator friends. Not only do they help make sure we get a good healthy fruit crop each year, but we can do our bit to help secure the future of the honeybee too . . . and not forgetting the delicious honey coming straight from the buzzing hives in our own orchard!
We think they're brilliant at what they do! Like us they are a small family run business - Mike is a third generation bee keeper, who with his wife Sadhana, has followed his passion for all things bees, honey and gardens. And they LOVE their bees. Alongside The Random Apple Company apiary they also have a select few in other local 'off the beaten track' locations around Cheshire and Staffordshire, giving their bees access to the most untouched land as possible . . . with plenty of different types of pollen for foraging! We think their honey is so delicious because they believe it should only ever be pure, untreated and raw - cold filtered straight from the hive. They never blend, mix or heat so the honey holds onto the amazing variety of flavours that occur naturally from the different flowers surrounding each apiary. We may be biased but the honey from our orchard is AMAZING!
Want to try some for yourself? Hillbrook's honey will be for sale alongside our own homegrown produce on our 2017 seasonal 'pop-up farm stand' - open every Sunday 11am-4pm from 24 September to 17 December The Applery at Shrigley Fold, Swanscoe, Macclesfield, SK10 5SZ (07742 678873).
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