Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Orchards in the news...

An orchard near Glastonbury, England (part of the Shepton Mallett cider mill) has been cited as being eco-friendly in its efforts to encourage wildlife and encourage sustainable models for planting. I have been to this area (I took this photo in 2002) and it is renowned for its many lovely orchards, and some very delicious locally-produced cider.

Northward in Ireland, the Irish Times published this fascinating article on heirloom apple grafting in County Clare. It's nice to see heirloom apple preservation efforts happening worldwide.

Stateside, orchards in Washington State are desperate for workers to help bring in their apple harvest. Many American orchards are dependent upon migrant and immigrant laborers to harvest their crops. The shortage of workers in Washington is blamed on a late harvest due to unusual weather conditions. In some parts of Washington, prison inmates are being put to work picking apples due to the shortage of civilian workers, and it seems to be working out well for all: the apples are getting picked and the inmates are enjoying some time outdoors.

In other harvest-related news, the apple crop in New South Wales, Australia was decimated by severe hailstorms, and will lead to a spike in prices.

And of course, you have probably already heard about the couple who got lost in an apple orchard who were forced to call 911 to be rescued. At least they were apologetic and somewhat sheepish about it, unlike the folks that got lost in the corn maze...