Sunny volunteering day, April 2015

On Thursday 23rd April Orchard 49 hosted 10 volunteers from Vodafone.  We'd been approached by Sharon Browne at Community Service Volunteers last year about having a group come and lend a hand on the orchard, and we were lucky that on the day the sun shone!

The volunteers worked really hard - from 10 am til 3.30 pm with a little break for lunch. Having so many people on the Orchard for a whole day makes such a difference at this time of the year. We will be starting our regular Monday evening sessions very soon, and this year we won't feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work, because the Vodafone crew did so much!

Team back row left to right: Matt, Amelia, Lee, Cliff, Carl, Simon, Kevin. Front row: Chris, Dan, Emma (photo Debbie)

In the course of the day the shed was re-felted. The felt had come off in one of the winter gales and a team tackled sorting that out before lunch.

Shed re-roofing in progress, Lee and Dan busy at work (photo Chris)

 Another team studiously weeded and mulched all the trees along the path fenceline.

The weeded and mulched fence line trees (photo Debbie)

Amelia (left) and Emma super weeders!  (Photo Debbie)

Bees will be arriving on the Orchard soon, and another task was to prepare the apiary area - which involved digging quite a large area of ground and levelling it. Because it has been so dry the ground (clay) was baked hard, so this was quite a task.

The heavy digging team at work: Pete, Cliff, Lee, Simon and Kevin (photo Chris).
 A donated shed was also re-located - it will be used to store the beekeeping equipment.

Matt and Chris working with Rob re-locating a shed for apiary equipment.

We also weeded and mulched the raspberries and the gooseberries and gave all the trees a welcome water. We use land drainage pipe, put in place when the trees are planted, so that we can be sure that the water is reaching the roots.  As the trees were coming into blossom, this was another really important job.

Finally, some of the crew made some bee boxes, which will be sold to raise funds for the Orchard at one of OTAGS' events.

Emma, Carl and Lee making bee boxes (photo Debbie)
Carl working with Pete on bee boxes (photo Chris).

Completed bee boxes (photo Chris).

It was a lovely time to be on the orchard, as many of the trees were starting to blossom. Here are some images taken on the day.
Apple blossom

Cherries - Stella and Morello

Pear - inherited possibly conference

Grandpa Buxton

One of the pears we grafted in 2012.

A big thank you to everyone for working so hard. Thanks also to Sharon at CSV for putting Orchard49 in touch with the group.

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