To date this project has involved more than 7,000 fruit trees being planted in Southland, more than 80 varieties being identified. We have achieved this by:
• Visiting old orchards (more than 35 orchards, most planted in 1850-1910) in Southland taking cuttings (funded by Sustainable Farming Fund 2008-2011)
• Grafting scion wood onto rootstock and duplicating trees which grow well in Southland
• Mapped, photographed, sampled varieties, working with international experts to identify based on 45 characteristics
• Teaching people how to prune, graft and plant fruit trees through workshops and educational material. Check our events page for upcoming workshops
• Helping advise and set up orchards in schools
• Annual fruit tree sale to raise funds and get more planted
• Establishing a Heritage Orchard Park in Riverton
The next steps in this project include:
• Establishing Heritage Orchard Parks throughout Southland. We are looking for suitable public land and keen community members – click the link to find out more and if you can help contact us.
• Researching and sharing the stories and photos of the old orchards.
• Finding funding to help us identify another 400 we have not yet identified – about a years work!
• Helping other environment centres around New Zealand run similar projects.
We have just completed our 44 page 'Open Orchard' handbook. Order yours now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, for only $15 plus postage (members do get a discount - please enquire when you order). Topics covered include:
- how to choose, care and plant fruit trees,
- preventing or dealing with pests and diseases,
- how to prune and taking cuttings then how to graft.
This information is what we have learned over the last 30 years growing and saving heritage fruit trees in Southland and is a booklet that will give anyone wanting to grow their own fruit a head start wherever they live in NZ. Money raised through sales will help us put signage up at Heritage Orchard Parks in Southland.