Stebbing Community Orchard and Meadow
Community orchards can be found almost anywhere – in cities, towns or villages, hospitals, museums or factories. As well as serving as fantastic places in which to play or relax, they are often the focal point for the whole community, where locals can come together, share the harvest and take on responsibility for any work in the orchard. Community orchards are helping to revive an interest in fruit growing. They can provide a way of sharing knowledge and horticultural skills and encouraging us to grow our own food.
Edible Essex has recently supported the creation of a community orchard in Stebbing. A meadow was left to the Village Hall Trustees as part of a bequest from Mrs Daphne Rogowski, a long time village resident and generous supporter of village life. Two years ago, it was decided by the Trustees to sow part of the meadow with wildflowers, which has been very successful.
The unused grass area that remained was brought to the attention of the Edible Essex Project Manager. After a visit and discussions about how the public would access the orchard and how the fruit would be distributed amongst the community, Edible Essex agreed to support the site. A few months down the line and the orchard is now established. Edible Essex has funded the supply of six heritage variety apple trees and a pedestrian gate. It is hoped that the villagers will get their first harvest in a couple of years. The orchard and wildflower meadow will make an attractive site to visit and walk around, and also provide educational opportunities for the local school.