THE Clyde Valley’s latest Fruit Day proved a sweet success, despite a very wet start to the morning.
Stallholders and visitors turned out to learn more about the Valley and taste some of its produce, now that its traditional orchards are being boosted again.
“At 9am, when it was sluicing down with rain, I was a bit concerned,” said Chris Parkin of the Clyde and Avon Valley Partnership.
“But it stopped and a wee hint of sun brought the crowds out.”
The partnership has been promoting the restoration of orchards and supporting the Orchards Group.
Once again at this year’s Fruit Day, apple juice was pressed and sold and there was a chance to purchase apples grown locally.
Chris said: “They have got the apple pressing down to a T now and they are not far off commercial production – that is the direction of travel
“Hopefully, we will be able to produce – on a more commercial basis – Clyde Valley fruit juice before too long.
“People are always interested in tasting local apples. They want to taste heritage varieties to see how different they are from the stuff you can buy in the supermarket.
“We are trying to raise awareness that these heritage varieties are still there and, with a little effort, we can reintroduce more varieties into the valley.”
The Fruit Day also introduced a super-fit way of making smoothies – the smoothie bike. The faster you pedalled, the smoother your smoothie became!
The scarecrow competition proved popular too – the top prize was won by Underbank Primary School and the runners up were the nursery children from Allanton, near Shotts, with Robert Owen nursery class in Lanark third.
Wood-turning, using locally grown timber, was also a hit, with youngsters of all ages leaving with a unique memento of their day,
The Fruit Day was organised by the Rural Development Trust and the Orchard Group and ran alongside the regular farmers market at Overton Farm. Stallholders at that reported an increase in visitor numbers too.
“We were delighted with the response and with the turnout,” added Chris.
Freelance photographer James Clare was on hand to capture the action for the Gazette and his pictures are featured in our slideshow, created by Gazette editor Julie Currie. The pictures can be purchased on the Buy It Now section of our website.