Britain is enjoying a remarkable apple boom, as hundreds of new community orchards revive lost varieties and contribute to a thriving heritage market.
According to Steve Oram, who is the apple diversity officer at the wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species: “We are adding new orchards to the register all the time. Some are in allotments, others in schools and even housing developments.
“After the postwar years of neglect and destruction, when 90% of the UK’s orchards were lost and supermarkets sold only a few varieties and imported 70 to 80% of their apples, it is very exciting.”
The Newquay community orchard in Cornwall was started in 2015 with a £66,000 crowdfunding appeal. More than 2,000 trees, including 120 local heritage varieties, have been planted on land donated by the Duchy of Cornwall.
Wholly and fully – as long as they’re doing what it says on the tin.
If people want little orchards of native (well, you know) apples then people should have little orchards of native apples. As long as, of course, they’re creating and maintaining those little orchards of native apples at their own expense. This is, after all, what liberalism means, that the peeps get to do what the peeps want. And if we’re to add some Burkean conservatism so that it’s the little platoons sorting it out for themselves then all the better.
As long as no one is being forced to pay for this through taxation then what could possibly be the problem?
At another level this is climbing Maslow’s Pyramid again. At one level of income we’ll take fruit in the only way we can, seasonally and in a limited manner. We get richer, technology advances, we can have apples year round – but that does mean trade, commercially sized operations and the inevitable limited selection. We get richer again and now we’ve more than sufficiency, let’s have that variety back again.
After all, it’s not as if we’re not seeing this right across the food chain, is it?
That roast beef of Olde Englande was most certainly better than the bully beef from Argentina or the Fray Bentos pie. As is the best grass fed British beef of today. But we moved through the cycle to get from most not being able to eat any beef, to all being able to have bad beef, to now again thinking more about the quality – we have a more than sufficiency of beef and can be picky about it.