On Tuesday evening The English Apple Man joined many visitors to AC Goatham's 'Shrubbery Farm' at Eastry in East Kent for the walk of the Winning EKFS 'Orchard of the year. Shrubbery Farm is one of 25 farms belonging to AC Goatham & Son across Kent.
Click on AC Goatham Our Orchards
Across the apple & pear industry, yields in 2021 will be 'generally' below 2020 'primarily' due to frost, the orchards we visited are predicted to produce similar to 2020 and in some cases above 2020. The one notable exception is the Braeburn in Block 17 which is anticipated to be down from 80 tonnes in 2020 to 60 tonnes per hectare in 2021!
Shrubbery Farm is one of 25 AC Goatham farms growing apples & pears spread across Kent, from Flanders Farm on the Isle of Grain, which is also the business headquarters and the location of the packing and storage operation, to Shrubbery Farm in the further reaches of East Kent.
We visited some very interesting and high yielding apple & pear orchards on our walk, in addition to the EKFS Orchard of the Year.
First on our route: Orchard 18, a (0.7 hectare) V System Conference Pear block planted in 2011 as a 'system trial' - which produced 34.97 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Next: Orchard 16: a (1.25 hectare) 'traditional' Comice Pear block planted in 1977 - which produced 18.72 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
On to: Orchard 9: a (2.68 hectare) V system Conference Pear block planted in 2016 - which produced 21.49 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Next: Orchard 19: a (2.8 hectare) hedge row system Gala Schniga block planted in 2012 - which produced 65.18 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Then: Orchard 11: a (2.19 hectare) centre leader Cox block planted in 1990 - which produced 48.22 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Off to: Orchard 17: a (2.59 hectare) hedge row system Braeburn block planted in 2006 - which produced 80.02 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Then: Orchard 15:a (1 hectare) V System Conference Pear block planted in 2017 - which produced 12.96 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Next: Orchard 20: a (2.88 hectare) hedgerow system Gala block planted in 2012 - which produced 80.67 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
On to: Orchard 14: a (404 hectare) 'traditional system' Conference Pear block planted in 1960 - which produced 15.42 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Lastly: Orchard 21: a (2.5 hectare) 'hedgerow system' Gala block planted in 2012 - which produced 63.36 tonnes per hectare in 2020.
Orchard of the Year
Elgar Memorial Bowl - A C Goatham - Shrubbery Farm - Block 19 Gala Schniga
Below: Block 19 Gala Schniga
Below: left; The Guide for our walk - Technical Director Nigel Stewart and right; another angle of the Winning Orchard!
Below: left; the One hectare trial plot of V System Conference Pears and right; one of the newer blocks of V System Conference Pears
Below: left; this block of Comice Pears planted in 1977 will be grubbed this winter and right; Cox apples planted in 1990
Below: Clive Goatham introduced his management team present on Tuesday and stressed the importance of their role in making AC Goatham & Son such a highly successful business operation.
EAST KENT FRUIT SOCIETY ORCHARD COMPETITION RESULTS
CLASS CUP/TROPHY WINNER Orchard
A - Dessert Apples Cox
1st Starns Cup - A C Hulme - Merton Farm - Perfil
2nd Fast Cup - A C Goatham - Shrubbery Farm - Block 11
3rd Murphy Plate -D Figgis - Weystreet Farm - St Johns
B - Dessert Apples - Gala
1st - J R Breach Cup - A C Goatham - Shrubbery Farm - Block 19
2nd - Gala Club Trophy - A C Goatham - Turkey Hall Farm - Block 5
3rd - No trophy - Adrian Scripps - Wenderton Farm - Sale 11
C - Dessert Apples - Braeburn
1st - Norman Collett trophy - A C Hulme - Hoaden Court Farm - Mighty Knights
2nd - No trophy - Adrian Scripps - Parsonage Farm - P9
3rd - No trophy - Adrian Scripps - Wenderton Farm - Sale 12
D - Dessert Apples - Other Varieties
1st - Heath Engineering Plate - Simon Mount - New Barn Farm - C1
2nd - Ridley and Houlding Salver - F W Mansfield - Chislet Farm - Harbours Jazz
3rd - No trophy - D Figgis - Weystreet Farm - Harefield
E - Culinary Apples
1st - PP Bowl - F W Mansfield - Nichol Farm - Cowless
2nd - Twymans Dish - F W Mansfield - Loyterton Farm - Bank Bram M26
3rd - No Trophy - Not awarded
F - Most Commercial Orchard
1st - Dennis and Cooper Cup - F W Mansfield - Chislet Farm - Harbours Jazz
G - Pears - any variety
1st - Vye Salver - A C Hulme - Brook Farm - Grove Pears
2nd - Arnold Bowl - D Long - Dux Farm - Dux Court Bay 1
3rd - Smart Cigarette Box - Simon Mount - New Barn Farm - P6
Best New Entrant
Hutchinsons - Not awarded - no new entrant
B A Compliance Hygiene Award
Wine - A C Hulme - Merton Farm - Perfil
Best Orchard over 1,000 trees/acre
John Foad Cup - A C Goatham - Turkey Hall Farm - Block 5
Best Orchard under 1,000 trees/acres
Kent Fruit Services Tankard - A C Goatham - Shrubbery Farm - Block 19
Most Meritorious Award
Ernest Elgar Challenge Bowl - Not awarded
Orchard of the Year
Elgar Memorial Bowl - A C Goatham - Shrubbery Farm - Block 19 Gala
Best Young Orchard in 3rd leaf
Mike Barnett trophy - W & D Riccini - Hospital Farm - Leper's Bank
The English Apple Man Comments:
Tuesday was an altogether pleasant evening, our hosts, Clive Gotham and his family delivered a most interesting visit and laid on welcome refreshments afterwards, while we had the opportunity to catch up with many old friends who have been absent from our lies due to 'lockdown' - lets hope we can enjoy some form of normality in the year ahead.
That's all for this week
The English Apple Man