Archive for the ‘Abundance’ Category

Damson Harvesting

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

SLACC’s Abundance group is organising another damson harvest this year. Come along and join our harvest in the Lyth Valley, in conjunction with the Westmorland Damson Association –


Help us, and the Damson Association, to pick the fruit from their old orchards, and take some home at the end of the day.

Its a fun community activity, the fruit is delicious fresh off the tree, and there’s plenty you can do with the damsons – eat them, bake them, make a pie, preserve them, make wine, flavour gin or vodka, use them as a natural dye for clothing or wool, or freeze them and bring them along to our traditional fruit preserve workshop on 12th October!

Harvest dates depend on when the fruit has ripened, usually at the start of September. Register your interest and we’ll contact you with dates closer to the time. Please also let us know if you have a car and are willing to give others a lift. Email tsl.abundance[at] or phone Ruth on 07851  719 444

Staveley’s apples

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Staveley’s new apple trees are growing up!

Some of the grafts haven’t taken, the poor things, so we’re down to 45 trees but the other rootstocks will keep until next year … if Staveley can wait that long. The survivors have put up with drought, neverending rain, and being blown over in gales – good preparation for the rest of their lives. Here’s a photo of a Bradley’s Beauty:

Bradley's Beauty

And here’s a photo of all the trees together:

The trees

If you live in Staveley and would like a tree contact Lorna – 01539 822165 or tsl.abundance[at]gmail[dot]com.

Apples and sunshine (sort of)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Yesterday’s Staveley Carnival was a great success. Despite the theme being Under Staveley’s Umbrella all the bright colours and funky drumming managed to keep the rain away and coax the sun to come out for an hour or two.

Here are some photos of the carnival costumes

Carnival umbrella

Carnival giant

The joint SLACC, SENS and Apples for All stall was fantastic (even if we do say so ourselves)!!

SENS and Staveley GTi ( had a bike related quiz and gave away 3 pre-loved bikes to 3 lucky winners.

Volunteers were busy on the Apples for All stall encouraging passers-by to press their own apple juice and have a taste, sign up for a free apple tree and come along to our Apple Day on 16th October. Despite promising free apple trees in October we also sold 3 trees grafted by SLOG (

Apples for All!

squished apples and strawberries


As always, contact tsl.abundance[at] if you want to get involved in appley events, we especially need volunteers for our Apple Day on October 16th!

And contact staveleygti[at] ifor more info on the Green Travel Initiative

Apple blossom

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Our Staveley Apples for All trees are starting to come into blossom and we’re very excited! Some of the trees are between 1 & 3 years old and these are blossoming a lot quicker than the newly grafted trees, but its very rewarding to see the grafted trees sprouting – like magic!

'Tower of Glamis' blossom

For more info or to get involved contact Lorna or Ruth on tsl.abundance[at] or 01539 822165

May Transition Living – build a bike trailer

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The plan for the Transition Living workshop in May is to build a bike trailer for the Abundance group.

We’ve got some plans from a chap who’s designed trailers to be made out of bamboo for developing countries, check out this webpage for his full story, its a nice story! He gives the plans to anyone who asks as long as they send him photos of the finished product being used for his website, so bring your bike along, take the trailer for a spin and we’ll get some good pics.

Bamboo is all well and good in some parts of the world, but we’re not keen on it growing in Cumbria, especially when historically this area has had huge amounts of native coppice woodland. So we’re gonna make our bike trailer out of locally coppiced wood and recycled materials.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the URC hall on Tuesday 11th May, 7pm-9pm, £3. Please book your place by emailing tsl.abundance[at] or call 01539 822165.

Abundance ‘Apples for All’

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

‘Apples for All’ is a new Abundance project based in Staveley. This summer we want to get Staveley residents and visitors hooked on the idea of growing their own fruit by planting 50 apple trees around the village. The trees will be of local varieties, evolved to thrive in our local conditions, and will be on a variety of different rootstocks – so you can choose a tree that will grow to 15ft, a dwarf tree suitable for containers, or something in-between.

Today we got news that the project will receive some money from Windermere and Staveley’s Neighbourhood Forum to help us pay for the trees and produce some information leaflets. But we still to raise a bit more money, so now its full steam ahead!

If you would like an apple tree for your garden, have space at your place of work, or can think of any public spaces that would benefit from some fruit trees then please get in touch.

We would also like to get some new volunteers on board to help graft the trees, plant them out later in the summer, promote the project, produce a map of the local fruit and help us at a few events we hope to hold – possibly to include a community apple pressing day and workshops on making jam and cooking with wild food. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about fruit trees, if you have any skills you think we can’t live without!

Contact Lorna on 01539 822165 or email tsl.abundance[at]

Apples for All is supported by:


SENS (Sustainability and Energy Network Staveley)

SLOG (South Lakeland Orchard Group)

Abundance grafting

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Last Saturday two Abundance members went along to South Lakeland Orchard Group’s grafting workshop at Growing Well.

Our first grafted apple trees

In the 2 hour workshop we had a lively grafting demonstration

from Hilary ‘the apple lady’ Wilson and managed to graft 8 trees, 4 were Scotch Bridget – a hardy cooking apple withstanding drought, harsh winters and poor summers therefore very suitable for our local climate. The other 4 were Duke of Devonshire, a  dessert apple raised at Holker Hall in 1835.

These trees are going to be used in our exciting new Abundance project. If you would like to get involved in Abundance events please contact or ring Lorna on 01539 822165.

Abundance apple juicing day

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

On Saturday 31st October Abundance joined South Lakeland Orchard Group (SLOG) to take over the Birdcage in Kendal for a day making apple juice, promoting local food and encouraging people to use our local traditional apple varieties. To get the most juice from our apples we had to first chop the apples roughly, put them into the crusher to create a pomace (apple mush!) and then put it through our Vigo hand press. Each pressing uses approx 5kg of apples and produces approx 2litres of delicious, fresh, 100% pure apple juice!

Crushing apples into a pomace

Crushing apples into a pomace

Using the apple press

Using the apple press

The stand was very popular despite the poor weather and at times we struggled to keep up with demand. Apple experts Hilary Wilson, ‘the apple lady’, and Phil Rainford of the Northern Fruit Group were on hand to give advice about orchards and identify apples. We also gave advice about storing and pasteurising apple juice, cider making, and preservation of other fruit types. The pomace left at the end of the process was taken to BTCV’s tree nursery on Queen’s Road and added to the compost. Two Abundance members were photographed hard at work at the crusher and this was published in today’s Westmorland Gazette.

If you are interested in making your own apple juice the Vigo press is available to hire from SLOG, see for more info.

The next Abundance event will be a tree pruning day and more details will be posted soon. In the meantime, if you want to get involved in the group please contact

Abundance apple harvest

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

On Saturday 24th October a group of Abundance members spent the day roaming the countryside & picking apples from ‘wild’ trees that would otherwise go to waste.

Apple harvest

Apple harvest

We spent an evening washing the fruits of our labour in a bath tub with ‘Veggiwash’ to get rid of the mud and beasties in readiness for the big juicing day.

Washing apples in the bath!

Washing apples in the bath

Abundance Damson Harvest

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

A bountiful harvest of damsons were collected by a group from Abundance South Lakes in the first week of September  in the Lyth Valley. Seven of us, lead by Bob Bradley from the South Lakes Orchard Group, spent a few sociable hours up ladders picking fruit from some 100 year old trees in a beautful orchard on a farm near the Gilpin Bridge.

Damsons from the Lyth Valley are puported to have the finest flavour in England and are wonderful to cook with! They are available to buy frozen from the Damson Association. The trees grow well in the limestone soils and particular climatic conditions of this area. The original use for damsons in this area was for dyeing.

You are welcome to join us for the next Abundance event which will be a harvest of wild apples in the Kendal area on Saturday 24 October. (Details below) These apples will be juiced on our stall the following Saturday at the Birdcage 11am-3pm for the Kendal Festival of Food. Bring your apples along to be juiced or sample ours!

Saturday 24th October 11am – 3pm

Abundance – Wild Harvest – FREE- Come along with us as we hunt down the wild apple tress growing in and around Kendal and harvest them for our own use and for the apple day the following weekend.  Meet at Kendal Library at 11am. Contact Lorna on  tsl.abundance [at]  or 07871651509