Celebrate 100 Years of Orchard History in a Bottle at Fruit Day
Celebrate the Clyde Valley orchards and local produce for free at the 6th annual Fruit Day on Saturday 3 October at Overton Farm, Crossford between 9am and 1.30pm. Enjoy fresh local produce from Lanarkshire Farmers’ Market alongside the local food demo tent, live music, food and craft stalls, woodturning, a variety of children’s activities and an orchard themed Scarecrow Competition.
This year’s Fruit Day will also see the launch of Clyde Valley Apple Juice - grown, processed and bottled locally by the newly formed Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative Ltd. Once again local apple juice is being produced for sale drawing on a long tradition of fruit growing and market gardening in the Clyde Valley, once known as the Fruit Basket of Scotland. Demonstration pressings will be taking place throughout the day, letting visitors see the whole apple to bottle process.
Celebrating ‘100 Years of Orchard History in a Bottle’ the group are encouraging orchard owners to make any excess apple crops available for pressing. All money raised through sales will be put back into Clyde Valley community initiatives.
“Fruit Day is also an opportunity for people to find out more about the history of the Valley,” explains Chair of the Cooperative Cheryl Osbourne. “This year we are launching our branded Clyde Valley Apple Juice. We have been working towards this for a while and are delighted to now be able to offer our new locally grown and produced juice for sale.”
Orchards are an important part of our local heritage and in their heyday in the 19th century the Clyde Valley was Scotland’s leading commercial fruit producing area. The orchards are a beautiful feature of our landscape and provide an important resource at a time when local produce is starting to be valued by consumers. The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) is promoting the restoration of the orchards and have supported the planting of almost 700 new apple, plum and pear trees over the last two years.
Entries to this year’s Annual Scarecrow Competition are invited on the theme of orchards, in keeping with the launch of the local juice. The competition is open to all families, nurseries and primary schools and they are encouraged to take inspiration from types of tree, blossom, fruit or biodiversity in the orchards. If you're interested in entering, please refer to 'Scarecrow competition' under 'Related resource,' on the right hand side of this page.
Maggie Young from Overton Farm said, “We are delighted to be able to host the event for the 6th year. This year’s Fruit Day will again see a wide range of stalls, apple pressing, displays and information with something to interest to all the family. The Strathaven Jazz Band will have us dancing round the stalls and there’ll be loads of extra fun for the kids.”
There will be cookery demonstrations using local food and an opportunity to sample some special healthy recipes. Strathclyde Woodturners will be offering children the opportunity of ‘turning their own toy’ from local wood and ‘kids’ of all ages can also make their own bird feeders with the RSPB Scotland or self-power their own healthy drink with CAVLP on a smoothie bike.
Fruit Day is being organised by the Rural Development Trust, Clyde Valley Orchards Cooperative Ltd., Lanarkshire Farmers’ Market and Overton Farm. It is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and the Scottish Government Community Food Fund.