Out in our beautiful apple orchards, it really does feel like spring!
The blossom is in full bloom, the bees are buzzing, and there’s an aroma of excitement in the air.
Chris Muntz Torres, our Farm Manager, who with his team of expert orchardists, looks after our 500 acres full of apple trees, in and around Myrtle Farm, explains:
“The warm weather has come just in time, after the cold, wet spring we all went through. The trees have responded brilliantly to the warmer weather, and we’re seeing a strong set of blossom this year. This means that although it’s really too early to predict the harvest, we’ve had a good start to the year!
“Apple trees always need a spell of cold weather to break their dormancy over winter, and we had sufficient low temperatures this year to reset growth and wake the trees. Now with the warmer weather and plenty of moisture in the rich Somerset soil, the trees are working hard to produce juicy apples for our cider.”
The blossom on our bittersweet Dabinett trees is just opening up presenting us with beautiful pale pink and white blooms. Tremlett’s Bitter is also looking resplendent. And as these delicate flowers begin to fade in a couple of weeks’ time, we’ll start to see the tiny fruitlets appear.
It’s now the bees are out there doing their vital work. As well as having 70 hives throughout our orchards – there’ll be around two and a half million honey bees making them their home this year (though we haven’t counted exactly!) – we welcome bumble bees and solitary bees into our orchards. All these bees contribute to the making of our cider, pollinating the trees, an indispensable part of the orchard cycle.