Horton Community Farm

Community-driven food growing in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Most trees in the area we pick from are of the Newton Wonder variety and most of them happened to be biennial meaning they only crop every other year. So when we turned up it seemed like the day would be a dead loss. Luckily though, one of the houses we visited had a fairly prolific pear tree that we had forgotten about and one of the Newton Wonders was cropping this year and was abundant. One tree with delicious Spartans was late in ripening but I went back and got them two weeks later. One of the volunteers also knew of 3 more houses with fruit trees to add to our list so we also got some large Bramleys. Two of these houses had about 10 trees between them! They had already dropped their fruit this year but next year should be a bumper harvest if we get our timing right.

A total of 15 volunteers helped to pick 14 boxes of apples on one day. These were distributed to:

  • The Curry Project: Provides a free meals service for the homeless, poor and underprivileged people of Bradford. http://bradfordcurryproject.org/
  • CALEB: One of the leading independent drug and alcohol agencies in Bradford. http://www.calebbradford.org/who-we-are.php
  • The Treehouse Cafe: Serving vegetarian, organic, fairtrade and locally sourced food and is also a centre for non-violence. http://www.treehousecafe.org/index.php/about-2/

From this year's experience I learnt it would definitely be a good idea to ring houses before turning up to harvest to check the state of the trees. I hadn't taken into account that some trees would be biennial and that weather conditions would alter the timing of the harvest.

Thanks to my mum for providing soup at lunch!