Horton Community Farm

Community-driven food growing in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Nine volunteers picked around 25 full boxes of apples over two seperate days. It was quickly realised that the best picking method was shaking individual branches with a long apple picking pole and letting ripe apples drop into a stretched out tarpaulin held by four people. We picked mainly from the Nab Wood area of Shipley, which I visit 'cos my parents live there, and I had spotted the trees on scouting forays around the neighbourhood. A couple of houses in Ilkley contacted us through other contacts and a couple of people responded to an ad in the paper. We always picked with the kind permision of the residents. Absolutely no scrumping here!

Thirteen houses with fruit trees were contacted. We managed to pick from 5 of these which had a total of 9 trees between them.

Four different groups received boxes of apples.

  • The Treehouse Cafe who use Fairtrade, organic and local food where possible.
  • The Trident Healthy Living Project which has projects such as a 'Dad's cook and share', a 'Family tea-time club' and an 'Older person's lunch club'.
  • The Curry Project which provides meals for the homeless.
  • CALEB which provides drug and alcohol services including a kitchen.

Four different varieties of apples were identified by taking samples of the apples to Bradford Apple Day. The varieties were Newton Wonder (which we were told was a good keeper - 4 months on and I am still grating them into my porridge), Keswick Codling - a cooker/eater, Lord Lambourne - an eater and a dark purple one called Spartan which was absolutely delicious.

Any damaged or poor quality apples were turned into apple juice and cider.

We aim to repeat the success of this project in 2009 with the contacts that we have built up and hopefully more people will come forward who have more fruit than they know what to do with.