Orchard Mentor, Rab Thomson, has written his final journal of the project, and has sent us a video of his tour of orchards in Fife where the apple blossom is in full bloom - Linwood Hall, Levenmouth, Letham Glen, The Agenda pub in Leven. He also calls on his, and everyone's, hero - orchard living legend Mr Willie Duncan OBE.
Willie Duncan OBE at FEL's Orchard Day, Dobbies 2010
I am writing this report while the rain is lashing down. Much needed by the way. Pleased to say that the weather was kind during the blossoms, April and May. Been busy supporting more groups, High Valleyfield group and Friends of Pittencrieff, Dunfermline. Both doing very well. Noticed a small amount of pocket plum fungus in Buckhaven Growing Space, and my own garden, but it is not as bad as last year. Might be the swing to the cold spell during winter. If the cold spell had lasted longer it would have maybe wiped it out. Anyway, keep your eyes open for blackfly on the plum and cherries. Mildew might also be a problem with certain varieties of apples, owing to the hot weather. It's easy to spot. The young shoots look as if they are covered in white talcum powder and stunted growth.
Well it's been good meeting all of you at our last get-together last year. We went to Kellie Castle, Megginch. Most importantly, Oatridge College back in January 2016 where it all started. I just hope that we don't lose touch and we can still get together now and again to support the orchard groups springing up all over the country. I am not online so had to rely on Diane to get my journals and videos online, so all can share what I love doing. I have really enjoyed this past 1½ years with FEL FVO and hope we can all keep in touch as I will assist and help anyone who has a passion for fruit growing.
I am still supporting Monimail Tower Project and Greener Kirkcaldy, and CLEAR [Buckhaven], my main group. I went to Ravenscraig Orchard last Friday, as I was informed a few of the trees were damaged by the lawnmower. Thankfully, the damage was minimal, so sealed the wounds with canker paint, so just wait and see. Well, all I can say now is 'thank you' all for your support all the way, mostly to Diane for getting my videos and typing out my journals so you can all see, and maybe learn! I have learned a lot from all of you. Hopefully we can still function as a group, and keep in touch, as I have really enjoyed it and met some really good people.
So keep up the good work and support the orchards!
Once again 'Thank you' All.
[The Editor replies - It has been a great pleasure working with you, Rab, and all the other Orchard Mentors as part of the Helping Britain Blossom Project. Thank you from FEL and HBB for your enthusiastic participation in the project, and for all that you and the other volunteers have done for your own community orchards. We wish you all a 'fruitful' future. All the very best.]
You can see Rab's latest YouTube video of Rab's tour of Fife apple blossom, and finally getting to meet his hero, the orchard living legend and horticulturalist, Willie Duncan OBE.