Come and join us when we will celebrate the joys of autumn at the 7th annual Fruit Day on Saturday 7 October at Overton Farm, Crossford, 9am – 1.30pm.
Organisers are hoping to build on the previous years’ successes by hosting a busier and even more jam-packed day of family friendly fun.
Visitors will be able to buy fresh local produce from Overton Farmers’ Market alongside the craft tent, live music from Strathaven Jazz Band, a variety of children’s activities and a ‘Recycle a 2 Litre Drinks Bottle’ schools competition.
Samples of Clyde Valley apple juice, pressed before your eyes, will be available throughout the day, from the Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative (CVOC). Bottles of local juice will also be for sale, made all the more enjoyable after seeing the whole apple-to-bottle process. All profits from the apple juice goes back into local orchard initiatives, drawing on a long tradition of fruit growing and market gardening in the Clyde Valley, once known as the Fruit Basket of Scotland. If you have an excess crop of apples you’d like to donate for juicing, please contact CVOC by emailing email@example.com.
Entries to this year’s ‘Recycle a 2 Litre Drinks Bottle’ are invited. The competition is open to all nurseries and primary schools and everyone is encouraged to be as creative as possible. A free class trip to Overton Farm is just one of the fantastic prizes to be won; sponsored by Overton Farm. Entry forms can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strathaven Jazz Band will have everyone dancing round the stalls with their live music sets and there will be lots of fun and hands on activities for children. The day will also involve interactive activities for the whole family and a chance to sample some special healthy recipes.
Fruit Day is being organised by Overton Farm and Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative Ltd (CVOC). It is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and LEADER supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and the South Lanarkshire Council.
Maggie Young, Overton Farm, says, “We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to Fruit Day again this year. We’ve had a tremendous fruit crop this year despite the wet summer and autumn.”
Orchards are an intrinsic part of the local heritage and in their heyday in the 19th century, the Clyde Valley was Scotland’s leading commercial fruit producing area. The orchards are a beautiful feature of the landscape and provide an important resource at a time when local produce is increasingly valued by consumers.
The Heritage Lottery Fund and LEADER supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) is promoting the restoration of the orchards which was featured on BBC Countryfile in May of this year.
Donna Marshall, CAVLP Programme Manager, says, “It’s amazing to see that Fruit Day has become such an established event in the local calendar. It’s just part of the Clyde Valley orchard revival that CAVLP support alongside the Rural Development Trust and Central Scotland Green Network Trust.”
She continues, “Since 2011, 207 individuals have received training in orchard management and have been supported to develop orchard products which saw the launch of Clyde Valley Apple Juice in 2015. In addition, 22 orchards have been planted in local schools, a community orchard has been created at Kirkfieldbank, 14 orchards brought into active management and almost 1000 fruit trees have been planted. Oral histories from former fruit growers have been recorded and used as inspiration to write new songs with the Lanarkshire Songwriters, and family recipes have been collected by CAVLP Heritage. This year, a report by the National Inventory for Orchards in Scotland revealed that the Clyde Valley remains Scotland’s biggest and most concentrated orchard area, with over 5000 fruit trees – an amazing testament to all of the hard work by groups that goes into reviving this amazing historic resource. Fruit Day is the perfect way of celebrating this – we hope to see you there!”
Fruit Day at Overton Farm is just one of over 600 national events that celebrate apples and orchards annually in October. Apple Day was initiated by the organisation Common Ground in 1990, as a way of celebrating and demonstrating that variety and richness matter to a locality and that it is possible to effect change in your place. Using the apple as a symbol of physical, cultural and genetic diversity and linking them with their place of origin, Fruit and Apple Day celebrations promote the importance of orchards in their contribution to local distinctiveness, including the rich diversity of wildlife they support.
Free parking is available on site and Fruit Day will operate between 9am and 1:30pm. For more information on Fruit Day please contact Maggie Young on 07889442584 or email email@example.com.
Excess apples for juicing can be donated to the Clyde Valley Orchard Cooperative by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.