Orchard Report Fourayes Farm: Winter 2017

At the time of writing we have just finished our first pick of the Bramley.

It has so far been a fairly dry harvest: we lost two half days to the rain and had a couple of showers. We look set to have an Indian summer which will help with the rest of harvest.

The experiment I spoke of earlier involving the codling and tortrix moths and the pheromone spoilers meant that the male moths become confused, could not find a female to mate with and no moths were caught in the monitoring traps. So for the entire season we did not have to spray for these two moths and next year we will look to expand the experiment across the farm.

Our newest bramley orchard is looking good after all the summer rain we have had. It has also given us bigger bramley this season than we have had in years.

The Wooley APHID I have spoken of in the past had been a real problem in some of our orchards this season; we have only just managed to keep it at bay. The rabbits on the farm remain at similar numbers to last year, so not much need to control again but another farm close by has asked me to help control rabbits on their patch.

Our badgers are still increasing; buzzards are still in good numbers. There are quite a few pheasants about the farm and more grey squirrels than I have seen in previous years. I almost caught one recently by the tail as it ran past me at arm’s length.

Ian Witherden at Fourayes Farm