A BOOK which reflects the new enthusiasm for fruit growing is lifting the lid on everything you need to know about apples and orchards.
As recently as the 1950s a network of orchards, big and small, urban and rural, spread across Sussex.
These orchards formed a valued part of everyday lives and livelihoods, and supported wildlife too.
The authors of Apples and Orchards in Sussex are saying now is the time to re-establish private and community orchards. The book has been published by Action in Rural Sussex (AIRS) and Brighton Permaculture Trust and is by Professor Brian Short and produced with the help of the National Lottery.
AIRS spokesperson Pippa Coomber said: “Apples and Orchards in Sussex gives detailed descriptions of all Sussex apple varieties, and is the first ever cultural history of apples and orchards in Sussex.
“There are stories from professional growers, gardeners, naturalists and community orchards, exploring our rich and enduring relationship with this amazingly varied fruit.”
The book offers advice on planting apple trees, joining a community orchard, and on how to find and locally grown fruit, juice and cider.
It describes how orchards can help to fight climate change, while boosting health, and provide a green space.
The fruit also has links with our cultural history: ancient traditions such as wassailing apple trees on the eve of twelfth night or bobbing for apples in containers full of water at Halloween may date from this pre Roman period.
The book is for general readers, those interested in fruit growing and cooking, local history, community activists, volunteers, and professional growers. It is available from local shops including Skylark, Castle Bookshop, Leadbetter and Good and Lewes TIC.