The blossom weekend will be held on Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th and Easter Monday 17th April. We will be open between 10am – 4pm each day and hopefully the weather will continue in its current vein and we will see as many of you as possible coming to enjoy the orchard in all its’ glory and enjoying everything else that we will put on for you to keep you entertained, fed and watered!
HOG ROAST, CREAM TEAS, ICE CREAMS & BAR
On all 3 days we will have a hog roast on offer if you wish to enjoy some locally sourced produce in the cherry orchard. The smell and sight of the Pig on a spit cooked this way really is still a highlight and the hog will be available from around noon onwards. There will also be a delicious hand –made vegetarian option available from the cream tea/bar area in the form of cold quiches and tarts etc
From 10am we will have bacon and sausage butties available and also hot and cold drinks. We will also have cream teas available with cherry jam and the scones will all have been hand-made by The Halt pub, from Salehurst. They will also be providing a fully licensed bar with a great selection of local bitters, beers, ciders, wines and soft drinks available all day. A lot of these drinks are national award winning drinks so nominate your driver home before you arrive…!!
We will also have our mouth watering hand-made cherry choc chip ice cream on sale as well as a selection of other ice creams and lollies.
If however you would like to bring a picnic, do please feel free and you’re more than welcome to enjoy this in the orchard surrounded by blossom next to your tree. Please also remember to bring your cameras with you. Dogs are also more than welcome as long as they are well behaved and kept on a lead at all times – we have a stand pipe at the orchard entrance that you can get water from for them, so please bring their bowls!
To try and keep the children entertained and to go home with some extra bits of knowledge, there will also be children’s clues for children to find. Sweets will be given out to those who complete the children’s clues and get most of the answers correct…just to the kids though I’m afraid…!!
LOCAL HOME-MADE PRODUCE AND FARMER’S MARKET
There will also be some great local produce on sale over the 3 days, so if you wish you will be able to take home a selection from the following: We will have an award winning local cheese maker, local Rhubarb, and hopefully there should be Kentish Asparagus which is just starting to appear for sale in the local farm shops. We may also have some English Strawberries. We should hopefully also have a selection of locally produced hand-made sausages so you can stock up for your summer BBQs!
There will also be an array of Kentish fruit infused Vodkas, Gins, Brandy and Rums for sale. We will have all of the following available to try and buy: Cherry Brandy, Cherry Vodka, Raspberry Gin, Raspberry Vodka, Gooseberry Gin, Rhubarb Vodka, Blackcurrant Gin, Blackcurrant Vodka, Blackcurrant Rum, Redcurrant Vodka, Redcurrant Gin, Blackberry Vodka, Blackberry Brandy, Damson Vodka, Damson Whisky, Plum Gin & Rhubarb Gin.
Our fantastic Cherry Juice will also be on sale and every 1 litre bottle of the cherry juice contains 3kgs of cherries and no added sugar or water so it really is as fantastic as it sounds!
PLEASE BRING CASH FOR ALL PURCHASES AS NO CARD FACILITIES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FARM.
We will be selling jars of home-made cherry jam which we have made through the winter. We’ll also have cherry de-stoners for those who intend to make your own later in the year!
There will also be jars of honey available from last year’s honey crop taken from the hives in the orchard.
ORCHARD WALK & TALK
Also from 11am -3pm each day I will take a group with me around the orchard and give a talk on growing cherries, tree physiology, bud development, pollination and answer your questions about whatever else intrigues you and why we do things the way we do in the orchard. These will last approximately 30 minutes and will be roughly every hour.
At the moment in the orchard, the Kordia are just starting to show a handful of flowers, with all the other varieties not too far behind so hopefully with the continued warmer weather forecast the majority of the buds will have broken into flower by the 15th.
A weed control has now been applied under the trees which you’ll see the results of when you come and visit and really stops the weeds taking away the nutrients that the trees need, and that we’re feeding them with.
We have also netted the bottom orchard at Northiam which you will see when you arrive and park your car. This orchard is nearly in full flower as they are earlier flowering varieties and we have netted it now so that it’s another job off the list as we have a total of 30 acres of nets to erect in the coming weeks!
With the rapidity of the bud movement I’ve been very busy on the tractor feeding all the trees, as the buds break, with a combination of foliar feeds in the form of liquid seaweed, and a Nitrogen based foliar feed that also has the correct proportions of Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Calcium.
Over the next 10 days we will continue to feed the trees and carry on with the remaining tree work, whilst also getting organised and tidying the farm ready for you all to come and visit at blossom weekend.
HOW TO GET TO THE ORCHARD
The full address of the orchard is Cooks Yard Farm, New Road, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6HS.
The parking will be in a field that is immediately accessible as you turn off the A28 into New Road. This field will be signposted and there will be someone at the entrance to show you where to park. If this field becomes full, you will be able to park in the field diagonally opposite our main parking field and then cross the road, however please be careful crossing this fast moving road. For disabled badge access you may come up into the farm yard which is 100 yards further up New Road but this will strictly be for dropping off purposes as there is no spare room in the yard.
We are located just outside the village of Northiam (in the direction of Hastings). Travelling on the A28 from the direction of Hastings towards Northiam you will travel through the village of Broad Oak and you then need to take the second turning on your left up a lane called New Road which is after about 2 miles. The parking is immediately on your right.
Coming in the other direction on the A28 from the Hawkhurst or Tenterden direction you need to go through the village of Northiam and after leaving the village there is a Vets on your right called `Badger’s Oak’ and New Road is the third turning on the right after about a third of a mile. There is a detailed map on the contact page of the website.
Fingers crossed all round for some lovely weather over the 3 days and we really look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.