Orchard volunteers dig big!

An intrepid band of orchard volunteers turned out in force yesterday to take part in the Farm’s Big Dig event. The Big Dig is a London-wide event, organised by Capital Growth. The Forty Hall Farm Orchard is a registered Capital Growth space and it’s thanks to their funding that we were able to buy our first trees for the orchard.

The aim of the Big Dig was to get more Londoners volunteering at their local food-growing spaces. Given the poor weather, we had a great turn out. We spent the afternoon transplanting blackthorn bushes, moving them from the bottom of one field to the eastern boundary of the orchard.

Blackthorn will make the perfect hedge because it is both fruiting (producing sloe berries) and because it’s prickly thorns will act as a deterrent to anyone trying to scrump the orchard fruit. Sloe berries are ready late in the season, after the first frosts of the winter. They make perfect jams and jellies, not to mention fruity sloe gin.