Our latest Local WWOOFing event gave eight WWOOFers, some WWOOFing for the first time, an opportunity to get to grips with winter pruning. Starting with a Saturday lunchtime gathering with hosts Tony and Jane at The Nursery in York, there was a mix of apple and gooseberry pruning, the latter a bit of a prickly experience, and a quick overview of how to deal with other soft fruit such as blackcurrants. Following a home produced meal and an overnight stay, the team transferred to nearby hosts Devonshire Mill at Pocklington on Sunday to hone their newly acquired pruning skills on trees in the old orchard.
This weekend was specially intended to encourage local WWOOFing and provide an opportunity to learn and acquire new skills. Everyone seemed to enjoy the event and by the end of the weekend a real team spirit had developed. A follow up was suggested and it is hoped there will be another get together again in the late spring, probably focused on sowing and planting. Watch out for details of this and other Local WWOOFing events on the WWOOF website.
Jack Fitzgerald, a first time WWOOFer, volunteered to give the WWOOFer angle on the weekend and told us: The weekend in York was both a chance to meet some new people, see new places and do some of the work I enjoy. While the weekend was focused on pruning, there was also a chance to cut wood and learn about some of the history of the area. Both the places we worked at had a story to tell and a lot of work put into them. The owners were kind and welcoming, with everyone getting along well. It can be a little strange to work together with a group of strangers right away but at the weekend’s end we were all friends.
Having worked in a few places outside of WWOOFing, as well as having done pruning before, I was unsure if I’d learn anything new but went away with more than I had expected. I was also able to learn a few new sayings all about apples and ways to use apples. I got to try out some food I’d never had before all of which I enjoyed.
And here are the sayings they came up with – does anyone have any others?
An apple in the bowl is worth two on the tree.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
An apple never falls far from the tree.
That’s a corker!
The apple of ones eye.
The apple is on the other foot.
An apple within, an apple without, keeps your worries hollow and in doubt.
Rotten to the core.
When is an orange not an orange? When it’s a Blenheim/Ellisons etc….
One bad apple spoils the lot.
She’s an apple-cheeked girl.
Gives me the pip.
Malus domestica brings out the best in yer.
Don’t upset the apple cart.
One one apple full basket.
It’s the forbidden fruit.
The Big Apple.
Pipped at the post.
Getting to the core of the problem.
Up the apples and pears.