The Orchard

We grow over 60 varieties apple, plum and gage tree and have national recognition for the orchard, including an early entry as one of Rick Stein's 'Food Heroes'. The varieties we grow are often referred to as 'heritage'varieties, which is another way of saying very good quality and taste but, for commercial reasons, ignored by the major apple growers

Our oldest variety is a small, flat late dessert called Court Pendu Plat which is believed to date from Roman times. You can try Costard, reputedly sold by Nell Gwynne and the fruit that gave us the term Costermonger, or the majestic Blenheim Orange, beloved by the Victorians and used by modern day patissiers, for tarte tatin

The orchard comprises 400 bush and half standard trees and about 600 columnar trees. We grow Apples, Pears, Plums, Gages, Damsons and Kent Cobs. All the fruit trees were grafted by us from scion wood supplied from the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale in Kent

blossom2 When we planned the orchard in the 1980s there was no internet and little information on old apple varieties. We used C19th books borrowed on inter-library loan for descriptions of the varieties - not all of which were terribly reliable. As a result, we have given up on some varieties and one or two we have kept only for historical interest (we have been honest about this in the apple descriptions!)

As a result of this weeding process, however, we believe that our orchard now comprises some of the best tasting English apples, many of which you would not be able to buy elsewhere. They are not the easiest to grow and the crops are sometimes small, but they represent several hundred years of a tradition that we think is worth maintaining for future generations

All varieties are available to our customers, at their appropriate season. There is no restriction on how many, or how few, you can buy - or how many of each variety (you can have one of each if you really want to!)

A description of our apple varieties

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Five Acres Wholesome Food..........
- Soil Association Organic Standard 1985 to 2016
- Wholesome Food Association from 2016
- Year 2000 - Rick Stein Food Hero
- Fruit and Vegetable Award - Localfoodadvisor