Heritage apple trees for Rye’s new garden

Rye’s new community garden is taking shape and is set to provide locally produced food as well as being a sanctuary for wildlife.

The Steering Group has been hard at work setting out the Garden’s foundations at the Love Lane site.

And next week the site is being prepared for the arrival of ten varieties of Sussex Heritage apple trees, which will form the basis for a Community Orchard.

The trees are coming from Bernwode Nurseries in Oxfordshire.

The ten varieties selected – Aldwick Beauty, Capper’s Pearmain, Crawley Beauty, Egrement Russet, Forge, Knobby Russet, Lady Sudeley, Sussex Mother, First and Last and Alfriston – include both dessert apples as well as cookers (some are even dual purpose) and have been chosen to provide a cropping season from August through to March.

On Saturday October 18th, Rye Mayor, Councillor Bernadine Fiddimore, will be in attendance doing the ceremonial duty of planting one of the trees.

There will be refreshments – apple juice of course – and information on bees, the all-important factor in successful blossom pollination next Spring.

Not all bees live in hives; the so-called ‘solitary’ bees must find safe shelter over the winter months if they are to survive.

Children (or interested adults) will be able to learn how to make a Bee B&B, using recycled plastic bottles and bamboo canes, which they can take home and place in their own gardens. In time, it is hoped that a bee-hive can be installed as part of the growing orchard with sympathetic planting of wild flowers and fruiting hedgerows for the foraging bees.

Other aspects to the Community Garden are also forging ahead. Hard-core has been laid, courtesy of local building firm Tolletts, to create a suitable space for the much-needed shed and, hopefully at some later date, a field shelter.

Tolletts are also providing some of the materials needed to construct the first of the raised beds which will be sown with winter-growing vegetables.

Presently, the garden is open on Tuesday afternoons, between 1-4pm, and Saturday mornings, between 9-12noon and volunteers are needed.