Since 2000 the Community Association has rented a piece of land from the Wills estate on which apple trees have been planted and maintained. Working parties have pruned the trees, staked and restaked, cleared nettles and kept the grass cut. The apples are turned into apple juice which is sold to raise funds to maintain the orchard.
In 2011 a group of interested villagers purchased a small flock of Jacob sheep, three ewes each with two lambs, to keep the grass down. See page about the flock. We have also been grateful to local residents with tractors and mowing machines for further cutting of the grass when needed.
October 31st 2015
On a beautiful morning many residents joined in the cider making at Yarlington Mill. They also enjoyed barbecued lamb sausages and burgers and a drink of last year's cider.
September 10th 2015
A good turnout of villagers helped pick apples from the local orchards. The juice will be ready for sale soon. Cider making will take place on Saturday 31st October at Yarlington Mill. All welcome.
April 11th 2015
A willing band of helpers including several newcomers to the village spent several hours pruning some of the apple trees in the community orchard, particularly the cider varieties at the top.
Instructions from our leader!
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October 2014 - We celebrated 10 years since the planting out of the Orchard as part of a Milennium project in 2000. The orchard sign has been refurbished by local resident Roger Baker.
Toasting the first ten years with mulled applejuice
And after the picking ...... making some cider
The bulk of the apples were turned into more than 500 bottles of applejuice - now on sale.
Apple tree puning March 2014
Over two mornings an excellent turnout of residents of all ages turned out to prune the trees, hoping for a bumper crop like last year. All 700 bottles from the 2013 crop sold by Christmas.
Apple picking 2013 took place on Saturday 5 October with a good turnout of friends picking two trailer loads of apples. These were duly taken to the processing business in Compon Dando for crushing, juicing, heat treating and bottling. Around 700 bottles will be collected in around a week, ready for labelling and sale.
13 /14 April 2013 In order for a lime mortar wall building course to take place 27/28 April a group of volunteers cleared rocks from a stretch of broken wall at the top of the main orchard. old mortar had to be removed so that the rock could be reused. A tree surgeon came a few days later to remove a large stump which was causng the wall to crack. Once rebuilt the wall will once again be a stockproof barrier for the community flock. Grant money was obtained to fund the materials and instructor for the course.
After the rebuilding the wall had to be covered in hessian and kept damp for some days. Once the mortar had hardened sufficiently the wall was pointed and subsequently capped with specially selected rocks. A lot of hard work for the many volunteers who gave their time but a beautiful section of traditional Somerset walling as a result.
16 March 2013
A small band of volunteers pruned the trees in the top orchard. The lower orchard will be done on 24 March.
October 2012 apple harvest
Unlike last year, when the trees were loaded and we were able to make 700 bottles of apple juice, this year's harvest was very poor, in line with the national position. On 13th October a willing band of families turned out to harvest what was available, and thanks to a the donation of fruit from a tree near Sandford, which had cropped better, we were able to put together enough fruit for a pressing.
-300 bottles were produced and sold out quickly.
A willing band pruned the trees in the top orchard on Saturday morning (17 March)
October 2011 Apple Harvest
This year the trees cropped well and a large party of residents gathered in October to pick the apples which were then turned into apple juice (Windfall Tipple) which is sold to raise funds for the maintenance of the orchard.
Several new families have moved into the village recently and even the youngest were keen to be involved.