Four Elms Fruit Farm are growers of a wide variety of premium quality apples and producers of multi-award winning apple juices. Established over 90 years ago, Four Elms Fruit Farm is now into its third generation of family ownership.
14 varieties of apple are grown on the 70 acre farm, including; Cox, Egremont Russet, Bramley, Braeburn and Gala.
As you all will know its been incredibly dry through June. The apple trees are holding up well during this hot spell, some areas are showing minor signs of water deprivation but overall everything is ok! Like all growers/gardeners we would certainly like a good sprinkle soon!
Pruning is now behind us and we have started 'thinning'. This is the process of decreasing an excessive crop and any pest/disease damaged fruit. This allows next years fruit buds to develop stronger without the stress of an excessive apple load. The remaining fruit will also reach a larger more saleable size.
Overall the crop is looking good and we are positive heading towards harvest. Apple size looks to be large with a good skin finish. Fingers crossed this outlook will continue...
In other areas the bees are doing well, the first honey was extracted, a good yield and SUPERB FLAVOUR!! Its also the swarming time of year for the bees! The natural process of honey bees reproducing by splitting the colony in 2, half leave with the queen to reestablish in a new location.
(see photo of Mark capturing a swarm on an apple tree)
Next month we expect to still be hand thinning the crop and monitoring for pests and diseases within the orchards.
We also look forward to attending an event called 'Gate to Plate' held on Honiton High Street 18th July. Around 60 of Devons finest food and drinks producers will be showcasing their produce. So good that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be attending for some tasters!!
(LEFT: Bramley thinning)
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