Another Spring, another opportunity to extend our orchards! This year we took delivery of 350 new bush Perry trees to join our existing 2-acre plot at the front of the farm. Strategically positioned on the roadside at the front of the farm we hope as the trees mature, they will create a beautiful scene to highlight our location.
The whips, the name given to young trees, were collected from our nursery grower and returned to the farm where they were watered and held overnight before planting the following day. With Tubbs and Ben on the ground marking out the 10 foot intervals for each tree and Joe in the mini digger (sorry he was going to do it all by hand but decided speed was essential to stop the trees drying out!) each hole was dug to a specific depth to ensure the roots were covered but the trunk exposed and correct distance to allow good light and ease of management.
One way or another each member of the team chipped in throughout the day to get the 7 varieties planted in their rows, even Hector- our 1-year-old was busy helping move soil! Of the varieties we have planted, I am a great fan of the Gin as a heirloom heritage variety that can offer a floral note- something that may prove a wonderful single variety in the future. We have also included Thorn which is a variety with a scented blossom, not common in perry trees, and a good quality juice that will hopefully also prove its worth in blends or a single variety in the future.
Perry is known for being a real challenge to grow, with early blossom and difficulty getting the fruit to set. We at Purbeck Cider do love a challenge. These bush trees will mature as the next generation of cider makers comes forward. As with many trees, you plant them to preserve and provide but for future generations to enjoy at their best.