News >> Project aiming to revitalise the traditional Totnes Apple

Project aiming to revitalise the traditional Totnes Apple

Ella Sparks
Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

THE Totnes Apple, a traditional variety of Devon fruit tree, is among a selection of over 30 varieties that are now available to buy from Schumacher College.

Ella Sparks, (pictured) who works as part of the College’s horticulture team, launched The Mother Tree last year, a project selling a range of chemical-free fruit and nut trees, picked for their suitability for the damp west country climate. 

“Historically the Totnes Apple was sold at the weekly market in the town – but now there are very few trees around so I thought that would be a good variety to choose,” she said.

“I don’t use any chemicals at all.  We’re not certified organic - but most of the commercial trees available will have been fed chemicals which means they have poor roots.”

The project is just one of Schumacher College’s projects on sustainable food systems incorporating agroforestry and horticulture.  The cultivars have been chosen specifically to prolong the season of local fruit and nuts.

The apple trees, available in three root stocks suitable for both outdoor containers and larger gardens, include a range of varieties such as the Devonshire Quarrenden. Beauty of Bath and the Cornish Rustic.  The nut trees include walnut, hazelnut and chestnut.

“Some of these older varieties of apple are part of our cultural heritage, so it would be a shame to lose them."

The prices of the trees range from £7 to £30 and all proceeds from the sale of the trees will go towards tools and equipment for the College’s Practical Residency in Sustainable Horticulture.

You can find out more about the varieties of trees available at www.themothertree.co.uk.  Ella will be selling her trees at All Ways Apples Festival on Wednesday, October 24 at Devonport Guildhall from 11am to 4pm as part of the Food Plymouth.