Food sharing

Food poverty is a major problem in Swansea. If you have surplus food consider sharing it with one of our many local food banks, Tŷ Fforest Community Hub, Matt’s Cafe or the Goleudy Community Fridge.

Fruit trees

Information: the Orchard Project has information on all aspects of growing and looking after apple and pear trees including pruning, diseases, promoting biodiversity, community juicing, making cider, orchards in the curriculum and much more.

When to harvest your fruit: take a look at this useful page from The Orchard Project on how to tell when apples and pears are ripe and ready to pick.

Pruning: Chloe Ward has written an excellent booklet on pruning apple and pear trees that is available here and here.

Guerilla grafting and guerilla grafting instructions.

Buying: not all fruit trees are at home in our damp Swansea climate. We suggest ordering from a  nursery that specializes in varieties that are well suited to local conditions. A good place to find these is by doing a search for fruit tree growers in Grown In Wales.

Local:Cyfoeth Y Coed and the Swansea branch of The Orchard Project are co-admins of the FaceBook group Hyb Perllan Abertawe / Swansea Orchard Hub. This is a public group and is open to anyone with an interest in fruit or even nut trees, come on over!

History: Carwyn Graves’s book “The Apples of Wales” is available directly from the publisher here. Swansea Library also has a number of copies. A recent article on the history of pomology, the study of fruit, in England and Wales by Barry Masterson shows how closely the cultivation of apples and pears has been tied to the production of cider and perry and provides a summarized context for Graves’s work.

Recovering heritage varieties: in 2016 South Wales University and The Welsh Perry and Cider Society began a project to find previously lost varieties of Welsh apples and pears. The project was a great success and 73 previously lost varieties were identified by genetic testing. These results are documented in The Welsh Pomona of Welsh Cider Apples and Perry Pears.

Starting your own fruit picking group: The Abundance Handbook, which is free to download, is an excellent resource. We also recommend consulting with your local  Centre for Voluntary Services as working with volunteers triggers a number of legal responsibilities. You should also consider getting insurance as a protection against accidents. 

Our picking kit is very basic: picking poles, ladders (some groups choose to avoid ladders because of increased insurance premiums), shallow boxes or crates to store the apples, a first aid kit, eye wash (because bits of twig and other detritus can fall into your eyes when you’re staring up into  trees), hard hats and secateurs (trees that have been not been pruned for years often have very tangled twigs and branches making access with a picking pole or ladder very difficult). In the spirit of reuse check out reconditioned tools from Tools for Self Reliance in Crickhowell.