PACT Garden of Eden

Appleby Edibles

Appleby EdiblesThe ‘Appleby Edibles’ community group has a polytunnel and garden at the Appleby Heritage Centre by the railway station.

November 2021

Our resident Apple Expert, Hilary Wilson, has given demonstrations of pruning and more at St. Annes Almshouses with fellow Orchardist Chris Braithwaite. A small tree nursery, including apple rootstock for grafting next year is growing well.

Community Apple Juicing with a stall from Garden Organic and tool care by Kingsharp went well in October, with help from The North Cumbria Orchard Group.

We are still working towards full accessibility and signage so that people can find us, but have new members without looking and more welcome, hoping to put together a team who can work together to recover the polytunnel this Winter. Please get in touch if you, or anyone that you know can help with this.

Winter Re-planting of Heritage Apple Cordon along the Railway fence. Saturday December 18th 10-3. Please bring a spade if you have one. Vegetable soup provided.

August 2021

With thanks to EDC, funders, The Transition Network, Eden Community Fund and The Frieda Scott Trust and Sponsors Atkinsons, work continues with plenty of time for talking and laughing in between, with garden design, fundraising, and programming some events for the Autumn. Volunteer led and managed, the waste left behind has been cleared and damage by vandals repaired. The first essentials for growing sustainably have been built back better;  Rainwater collection and storage and composting, including demonstration wormery and bokashi bins.       The fully accessible site is open to everyone who is interested to work as a team, with every contribution of effort, no matter how small appreciated, on Tuesday mornings 10am - 12noon and at other times by arrangement. There is always a wide variety of things to do, from making new beds and designing the garden including new signage, to planting seeds and caring for the apple and other trees in the new tree nursery.

Visiting the site: Common sense being the main consideration. Gatherings aren't sensible, unless distancing is possible, and strictly adhered to.  Looking forward to seeing you!

Spring 2021

Our meetings have been quite intermittent since last February, so, beginning with a short AGM the next will now be Saturday May 15th 2pm  at the Garden. Strictly socially distanced. It might be best to bring your own refreshments with you this time.

Appleby Edibles returns to the polytunnel! We are all excited that AE is back at the AHC site and all keen to get growing, with an enthusiastic membership currently of 15 people. This is hugely encouraging. Please keep coming forward with your great ideas for improving the organisation.

We have finally secured a 5 year license with Eden District Council at the Heritage Centre for allotments and community garden, we have been working to clear the space to make it safe for us all to use this year. Socially distanced of course.

Membership fees are a modest £10 per bed p.a., with free membership for under 18’s related to members.

Visiting the site: Common sense being the main consideration. Clearly gatherings of any size are not sensible, unless distancing is possible, and strictly adhered to. The site will be open to everyone on Tuesday mornings 10am - 12noon and to work as a team, whilst we still can't currently arrange meetings, workshops or events and the last Saturday of the  month afternoon and early evening as soon as it's safe to do so.  

>Appleby Edibles polytunnelAppleby Edibles renovation

Autumn into Winter 2020

For anyone who's interested. The gate will be open for the first time since March on Saturday 19th December. 10am - 12noon
Appleby Heritage Centre Site, by the Railway Station. CA16 6TT
Vegetable soup for donations, or vegetable donations for soup!
(Please get in touch.)
Come along and talk about what is, what if and what next. 

Now that Appleby Edibles is being granted a formal lease at The Heritage Centre by Eden District Council, we are looking forward to resuming activity there as soon as possible as allotments and a community garden, with composting area for local green waste collection and tree nursery. A space in which to learn about plants for food, fibre and structures, as well as the local environments, habitats and wildlife.

There is also the new space at the corner of Colby Lane and Glebe Road which needs preparation to welcome bee hives in the Spring.

Appleby Edibles polytunnelAppleby Edibles raised bedsAppleby Edibles polytunnel entranceCalendula

Summer 2020

I hope that you have all been managing ok at home. I'm glad to say that most people I've met seem to have taken to gardening and that our local box scheme run by Vista Veg has doubled in size since 'lockdown' began.

Since the Heritage Centre Site has been closed, I have been working towards ensuring new allotments for people on the waiting list and AE have been given a little (20x7m) new space down on Colby Lane to look after, which a few volunteers are working to make publicly accessible. An application to ECF is being submitted for steps and a gate. We have been donated a 10 x 8 ft cabin/ classroom and 2 beehives are on their way being looked after by local apiarists with a page in The Penrith Beekeepers Calendar for September 2021, when we hope to be hosting a community juicing here in Appleby again.  Incredible Edible have offered to send a speaker to talk about their approach to community gardening as soon as it's safe to gather in groups once more. In the meantime funding for a Zero Carbon Cumbria has been successful, so let's all carry on thinking globally and acting locally!

Spring 2020

After the completely unexpected closure of the Heritage Centre on going into administration in the middle of March, we had to grab what we could to take home at short notice. This was followed by the current ‘lock down’ against Coronavirus. Communication of AE with EDC, ATC, AS & Oaklea Trust  continue... In the meantime, seed swapping, planting, growing, harvesting, recipe and low carbon menu swaps and ( socially distanced ) eating together, apart, continue here, with people cooking & delivering food for each other, with Chef, Matt Jones, entertaining us all online.

For those that need assistance: Howgills are coordinating shopping and deliveries with Stephensons and others. The Hub have started making bread and include this in their own recently set up click and collect & home delivery services.

Watch this space and enjoy the continued sunshine!

AGM 2020 and Meeting

For anyone who might be interested in further development of community gardening here in Appleby.
Thursday 13th Feb Appleby Heritage Centre Meeting Room 6.30pm

Winter 2019-2020 Update

We're staying! Happy New Year. Following meetings with The Appleby Heritage Centre, a few of the more pro-active AE members have offered to help support the development of the space to expand it by about 1/3 to make room for supported sessions in growing. Thanks to John for our new logo.

Autumn 2019 Update

October's Apple Day went ahead, keeping it as an annual event in Boroughgate, with 8 market stalls, lots of food to choose from, juicing and advice on orchards from the North Cumbria Orchard Group, our own Hilary Wilson. (AE are now an 'Organisational Member', as well as the Northern Fruit Group.) Also Garden Organic, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, music from the Blue Jam Folk Group and new Logo with thanks to member John Stokes.  The rain held off until lunchtime. The Remote Cinema's mini Film Festival, 'Nae Planet B' on themes of Sustainability and talk from Cafs' Phil Davies on other local projects went very well, with food grown and supplied from the AHC site and beautifully cooked by new  member, chef, Matt Jones.
Secretary Sian and Lucy have arranged to meet with AHC Board Members on Wed Nov 13th.

August  2019 Update

Courgette flower

Appleby Edibles need to move -  can you help?

Appleby Edibles have been given notice to leave the Appleby Heritage Centre site by February 2020. They say that they do value what Appleby Edibles members could bring to the planning of a new community garden and teaching space and the work that has already gone into developing a thriving community growing space for the members here. Support is being sought from Appleby Town Council and Eden District Council, to firstly, secure an allotment site and secondly for engagement in the design of any new  'community garden'  space, with a view to contributing towards maximising the future potential of the Appleby Heritage Centre Site. In the meantime, there are a lot of lovely fruit and veg being grown.

Please contact Lucy Teather on or 07710405357 if you can help.

March 2019 update

Now that the Spring is on it's way, we are in the process of confirming who wants to keep their beds and how much room there is for new members.  There will be an open day, for any one who's interested, including a composting demonstration and information on home composting from Garden Organic's Cumbria Master Composters and The Heritage Centre kitchen open Sat 6th April. 12-3pm - more details

Members John and Donna Stokes are our master seedling growers

October 2018 update:

This year has gone well, with lots grown again by 16 Members and an RHS Community Award for 'It's your neighbourhood.'

The workshop as part of CAfS 'Green Build' Programme was a first of it's type for the site. If any one would like a bed inside or out for 2019 please let Lucy know.

May 2018 update:
Fancy a look round or getting your own bed? Please get in touch with Lucy Teather on or phone 07710405357.

November 2017: Group leader Carl Bendelow appeared on Cumbria TV to highlight tree planting during National Tree Week - watch the video on YouTube.

October 2017 update:

Work progresses developing the site and we are pleased to say a couple at Cliburn near Penrith gave us an aluminium greenhouse. It was an education dismantling and re erecting it at our gardening site at the Appleby Heritage Centre. We fitted out the greenhouse with benches, a metal cupboard and relocated our pot bound vine there. It should grow well there having room for root development and more sunshine than in the polytunnel. Members John and Donna Stokes (see picture) have agreed to be our master seedling growers.

Appleby Edibles 2017 produce along with lots of potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries and all sorts of interesting varieties

August 2017 update:
The polytunnel and membership is developing well - polytunnel is rather like walking into the greenhouses at Kew. The soil in the planters is developing well thanks to the addition of soil from a town housing development, compost from the heap and bought in bags of compost from Jenkinson's in Penrith.

We have installed a rainwater harvesting system which has served us well over the summer Due to demand we are going to create more outside planters.

Appleby Edibles Appleby Edibles water storage tank

January 2017 update:
Work has continued over the winter months adding more planter beds to the polytunnel and installing a rainwater collection system that feeds to an internal storage tank - see picture. One advantage of a polytunnel is you can work what ever the weather.

The outside planters are maturing nicely having grown potatoes last year and the recent addition of our home matured compost. We will shortly be covering some of the beds with polythene, note hoops over some planters. Rhubarb is being forced, it is its second year so there might be some pickings

A wild flower bed is being sown and one member wants to take up bee keeping, has anyone got unused hives we can inherit ?

Appleby Edibles Appleby Edibles produce Appleby Edibles Appleby Edibles receive grant cheque from Eden Housing Association Appleby Edibles planters with topsoil donated by Story Homes in Appleby

July 2016 update:
The group is in its third year and through support from Cumbria Community Foundation and an ECHO grant from Eden Housing Association a mains water supply has been installed and a shed erected for storage of equipment.

Planter beds inside the polytunnel and outside beds are growing well, one bed has been devoted to rhubarb ready for cropping in year two and two members have planted asparagus, which again cannot be cropped until its second year.

An important feature of horticulture is soil condition and we are working on this by planting lots of potatoes and developing the compost heaps.

The group has grown to about twenty and includes children following their parents. One member, Hilary Wilson, is a county apple expert and can often be found at Acorn Bank near Temple Sowerby advising the public about apple varieties.

June 2015 update:
Appleby Edibles are very pleased to have received a grant from Eden Housing Association for a secure shed to store tools and to buy tools.

April 2015 update:
The group is now in its second year and well into an early start to the season. The Polytunnel has survived winter storms and space is being cleared for more growing boxes to accommodate the great range of seedlings the group is growing. We have also been able to acquire some topsoil for inside and new outside boxes.

We are searching for grants to improve the facilities such as installing a mains water supply, rabbit proof fencing to outside beds, tools and a shed to store tools. We are appealing through Freegle for a shed.

Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds

Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds Appleby Edibles raised beds

Covering the Appleby Polytunnel Covering the Appleby Polytunnel Covering the Appleby Polytunnel Covering the Appleby Polytunnel Covering the Appleby Polytunnel Covering the Appleby Polytunnel

August 2013:

The polytunnel had previously been used to store a railway engine that was awaiting restoration, however the engine has long since gone, and the polytunnel is now being used just to store redundant items from Heritage Centre training courses.

The polytunnel is in need of some general repairs and improvements, and a grant application has been made for initial funding. The main requirement is a new cover, which is possibly the most expensive item as it is rather large, approximately 80ft x 20ft x 15ft high.

Timber to construct growing boxes and some good soil to fill them would also be needed. It’s envisaged there could be about 16 boxes initially, each measuring approximately 6ft x 3ft. Also needed would be some tools to construct the boxes and some gardening equipment.

Then of course some volunteers would be sought to help fit the new cover and make the boxes, and of course people wishing to grow vegetables. Initial meetings have generated a number of possible ideas, particularly to involve local primary and secondary schools and youth groups.

As well as the polytunnel itself, there are a number of other possibilities for community growing on spare land outside. For example a nice long chain link fence adjoining the railway line could be used to grow climbing plants.

The polytunnel opportunity was originally identified by Carl Bendelow with John Weir. An adhoc committee has since been formed with Malcolm Preston-Green acting as chair, Dani Leslie agreed to resource some funding through grants, and Sue Burns and John Weir as members.

All ideas and support are very welcome to help develop the initiative! Contact can be made through the PACT website.

Appleby Edibles Polytunnel