Everyone is invited down to Overton Farm tomorrow (Saturday) to celebrate the joys of autumn at the 7th annual Fruit Day.
Organisers are hoping to build on the previous years’ successes by hosting a busier and even more jam-packed day of family-friendly fun at Crossford, in the Clyde Valley.
Visitors will be able to buy fresh local produce from Overton Farmers’ Market alongside the craft tent, with live music from Strathaven Jazz Band, a variety of children’s activities and a ‘Recycle a 2 Litre Drinks Bottle’ schools competition.
Samples of Clyde Valley apple juice, pressed before your eyes, will be available throughout the day, from the Clyde Valley Orchards Co-operative (CVOC). Bottles of local juice will also be for sale, made all the more enjoyable after seeing the whole apple-to-bottle process. All profits from the apple juice goes back into local orchard initiatives, drawing on a long tradition of fruit growing and market gardening in the Clyde Valley, once known as the Fruit Basket of Scotland.
Strathaven Jazz Band will have everyone dancing round the stalls with their live music sets and there will be lots of fun and hands on activities for children.
The day will also involve interactive activities for the whole family and a chance to sample some special healthy recipes.
Fruit Day is being organised by Overton Farm and the orchards co-operative. It is supported by Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and South Lanarkshire Council.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to Fruit Day again this year," said Maggie Young of Overton Farm. "We’ve had a tremendous fruit crop this year despite the wet summer and autumn.”
Orchards are an intrinsic part of the local heritage and in their heyday in the 19th century, the Clyde Valley was Scotland’s leading commercial fruit producing area. The orchards are a beautiful feature of the landscape and even more important now with the emphasis on food being produced locally.
Donna Marshall, CAVLP Programme Manager, said, “It’s amazing to see that Fruit Day has become such an established event in the local calendar.
"It’s just part of the Clyde Valley orchard revival that CAVLP support alongside the Rural Development Trust and Central Scotland Green Network Trust.”
She continued: “Since 2011, 207 individuals have received training in orchard management and have been supported to develop orchard products which saw the launch of Clyde Valley Apple Juice in 2015.
"In addition, 22 orchards have been planted in local schools, a community orchard has been created at Kirkfieldbank, 14 orchards brought into active management and almost 1000 fruit trees have been planted.
"Oral histories from former fruit growers have been recorded and used as inspiration to write new songs with the Lanarkshire Songwriters, and family recipes have been collected by CAVLP Heritage.
"This year, a report by the National Inventory for Orchards in Scotland revealed that the Clyde Valley remains Scotland’s biggest and most concentrated orchard area, with over 5000 fruit trees – an amazing testament to all of the hard work by groups that goes into reviving this amazing historic resource. Fruit Day is the perfect way of celebrating this – we hope to see you there!”
There is free parking at Overton Farm, and the Fruit Day runs from 9am until 1.30pm.
*Anyone able to donate an unwanted crop of apples for juicing can contact CVOC on firstname.lastname@example.org.