Abergavenny Area Community Orchards and Gardens CIC
This was established in September 2011, to take forward community fruit and vegetable growing projects in the Abergavenny and surrounding hinterland.
Our long term vision is to establish a series of community gardens, orchards and allotment sites, throughout Abergavenny and its neighbouring areas, serving each neighbourhood and providing people with the opportunity to grow their own food, with all the benefits of exercise, enjoyment and personal sustainability it brings.
Our first project was to establish the Community Orchard on approximately 1 acre of land owned by Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) at Mill Street, Abergavenny. The Orchard was planted in the winter of 2011/12 with help from local schools (Deri View Primary School, Cantref Primary School, Ysgol Cymraeg y Fenni). Initially 90 trees were planted.
The trees are a mix of dessert, culinary and cider apples; dessert and perry pears; plums, damsons and cherries; quince and medlar The fruit trees were sourced from Dolau Hirion Fruit Trees in Carmarthenshire. Where possible we have used local and regional traditional varieties. A mixed fruiting hedge of native plants was planted at the same time, provided by the Woodland Trust as part of the Jubilee Celebrations.
We also want to enable people with more garden than they can use to meet those who want more land to garden, for their mutual benefit.
We see the need, as climate begins to alter with changes to the Polar icecap, oil reserves depleted and household incomes fall, for a return to local food growing, if Wales and the world are to achieve food security.
Our activities are a local response to a global consciousness, particularly aimed at helping young people to gain the skills of food production, and at preserving local varieties and biodiversity. Currently there is an over 2 year waiting list for allotments and the new housing estates in the area have small gardens. We see the need to provide training in horticulture and animal husbandry for young people.
For more details and offers to volunteer, get in touch with Jane Llewelyn Dixon email@example.com
May 2016 News letter: Community Orchard 2016 May Newsletter
Sept 2016 News letter: Community Orchard Newsletter Sept 2016
See our web site: www.abergavennycommunityorchards.org.uk
August 2016: Members of the Laurie Jones Community Orchard at Abergavenny turning the hay in the orchard before bailing.
Some of the many varieties of fruit trees are bearing fruit already. The hay has now been bailed and sold to a local source.
Grant from Tesco Bags of Help Scheme
Abergavenny Community Gardens and Orchards CIC has been successful in winning a £12,000 grant from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, funded through the plastic bag levy. The scheme is aimed at community environmental projects. As a result we will be carrying out the following projects at the Laurie Jones Community Orchard during the coming year:
- Making a surfaced path, suitable for mobility scooters, wheelchairs and buggies through the orchard.
- Designing and making an information board which describes and explains the orchard.
- Providing labels for the orchard trees.
- Creating a pond with a suitable platform for pond-dipping and viewing.
- Improving the bio-diversity of the orchard grassland through a programme of management and planting.
Digging the new pond – Nov 2016
We celebrated another successful Wassail at the Laurie Jones Community Orchard on Saturday 7th January this year with music, fire, cake, singing and cider! The Wassail ceremony included a procession around the Orchard, drinking a toast to the health of the apple trees to ensure a good harvest of fruit next autumn.
Weeding and watering beds
at Abergavenny Museum – April 2017
Wassail at the Laurie Jones Community Orchard. Jan 2018
Music, singing, apple cakes, mulled drinks.Walking the bounds of the orchard, bread on trees, musical instruments, colourfully dressed ….. Wikipedia – “The orchard-visiting wassail refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.”