What to do with old variety pears ? Make a yummy snack

old variety Hessle pears to yummy snack

old variety Hessle pears to yummy snack

What to do with those old variety pears that tend to be left on the tree ? Use them – they are fantastic! Varieties like Hessle, which have a small fruit, but there are a lot of them on a tree. Pick them and dry them in the pear equivalent of apple rings. Only they aren’t a ring as they don’t need coring.

Picking time is crucial: Picking the old varieties of pear at the right time is a trick. Don’t wait for them to be ‘ripe’ as you would a more modern variety of table pear. If you wait, the centre will typically be rotten. Pick before that stage when they have become sweet but are still crunchy.

Just slice them up (about 5mm thick slices). The picture shows a dehydrator rack (which is essentially a low temp fan oven) but you can do this in your own electric fan oven at its lowest temp, or on a cake rack over a fire or radiator. It takes about 12 hours in a dehydrator/oven, longer with other methods.

Once dry, put in an airtight jar and they will last for months – but only if you hide the jar or lock it. Otherwise they only last a few weeks because they are so bloomin’ tasty !

Opportunity: Local Facilitators

We are currently seeking individuals who would like to take up the roles of Local Facilitators (in their area). This is a part-time role running from July through to November.
The role in involves working with a local collaborating organisation – which could be a development trust, orchard group, or similar not-for-profit body – and organising volunteers to undertake the orchard survey work across your local area. The graphic here shows the projects structure and where Local Facilitators fit in.

local group structure v2We provide all the material resources and methods – it all set up. The Local Facilitator facilitates the action on the ground in their area.
If you are interested in the role, fill in the Volunteering Form but state in the last comment box that you want to be a Local Facilitator and tell us any additional details you think would be useful. We’ll get back to you. Thanks

Job Opportunity: Orchard Animateur & Support Worker

SAYR0022 unnamed apples small
We’ve also got a great job opportunity for an enthusiastic person to help encourage and support local groups that are collaborating in the orchard inventory project. Its part-time, one day a week and runs for six months starting June.
Social media and some wordpress skills are needed too.
See Jobs page
Closing date 31st May 2016.

Job Opportunity: GIS Operator

SLAN gmap
We have a great opportunity for a person with Geographical Information Systems skills, who would like to contribute to our great National Orchard Inventory project. Its a short term contract, 11 days of work on a specific task. You don’t have to be a top line expert, just relatively competent with MapInfo – we provide the system.
See Jobs page
Closing date 31st May 2016.

Training for Orchard Surveys in the Ayrshires

Monday 24th August saw three new Local Facilitators meet up in Maybole, Ayrshire to participate in an afternoon of training the trainers.  The training was carried out in cooperation with Ayr-based Scottish Smallholders Association, who are our local ‘Collaborating Organisation’ for North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire.  Local Facilitators are the people that organise and support volunteer surveyors in their area.

The training was part of the Field Verification phase of creating a National Orchard Inventory for Scotland.  The national project collaborates with local organisations so that knowledge is kept local and community organisations can be part of an orchard revival across Scotland.

Scottish Smallholders Association were successful in gaining Awards for All funding to carry out local work.  Nationally the project is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Want to know what’s involved in being a volunteer – here’s a one page summary

If you are interested in volunteering in any of the Ayrshires, please email ssa@scotlandthefruit.org.uk

For all other areas, please use our volunteer form here



Orchard Gathering 2015

Its happening on 3rd October 2015

Gathering: 10.00 – 17.00

Evening meal and entertainment: 18.00 – 21.30

Dundee West Church, Lower Hall, 132 Perth Rd., DD1 4JW – enter via

Roseangle Arts Cafe

On 3rd October 2015 Dundee Urban Orchard will welcome the Orchard

Collective Scotland to Dundee. The Orchard Gathering will focus on the

theme of Orchard Cities and the role that the creative arts can play

in generating and sustaining energy for a growing orchard movement.

Examples of creative orchard projects from across the UK will be

highlighted. The day will include lively presentations, creative

workshops and plenty of time to discuss next steps for the Orchard

Collective Scotland.

The Gathering includes tea/coffee and lunch. For those able to stay

on, there will be an orchard themed evening meal and live

entertainment from 18.00 – 21.30.

Dates for the Orchard Gathering have been chosen to complement Tay

Landscape Partnership’s Fruit Festival events and encourage synergy

across urban and rural environments. TLP events include an apple

harvest at Elcho Castle Orchard on the 4th October, a picking and

juicing skills sharing workshop in Errol on the 7th October, and a

Fruit Festival in Bell Wood Park, Perth on the 10th October.

For more information please contact jb4change@gmail.com

Here’s the Eventbrite link to book tickets:


We’ll update programme information as soon as we’ve received

confirmation from contributors this week.

Orchard Gathering soon upon us

Only a few days to go before Orchard Gathering 2014.

There are still a few tickets left, and for the evening ceilidh

Click here to book now on Eventbrite

This is what we’re hoping will happen at the event:

  • sharing experiences and knowledge
  • building energy and enthusing folk
  • making new connections and sparking new ideas
  • working together to further the orchard movement
  • eating good food, having a great time

See our webpage for details


Orchard banner

Newburgh Orchards feature on Landward

Nick Nairn is doing a piece on undervalued local food.  Choosing the apple as one of three local foods, Landward came to Newburgh a few weeks ago to film. It is after all the place that probably most deserves the accolade ‘fruit town of Scotland’.   As well as filming in the Community Orchard, they also visited a town orchard of a member of Newburgh Orchard Group.

See it all on Friday 24th October, at 7pm on BBC2, and thereafter on iPlayer.