Llandrindod Pomarium

Eich Perllan Gymunedol - Your Community Orchard

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Katiannidae gen. nov. 1, sp. nov.

Spring is definitely trying to get its act together, so I want to start making some regular posts about the other things that share the orchard with us. Most of them are pretty small, it's true, but they're definitely worthy of our attention.
 
I'll start with a species new to science. Yes, you read that right. It doesn't yet have a name, although it's known quite widely in the UK, having settled in amazingly well since its unknown arrival from ('tis thought) Tasmania… although it's never yet been seen in its native country, so nobody is completely sure where it came from!
 
Springtails are extremely charismatic little things, related to insects, but more primitive; the main difference is that they don't have wings, and never have had. There are many species, but the globular ones are probably the most appealing, often with spectacular patterning and a bit of an overdose of cuteness. Most of them feed on fungi or rotting plant material, and they can be found in their billions in the orchard – mainly in the woodland edges, in deep tussocks, or around the compost heaps. This species seems to be most common around the little gorse bushes by the railway line, and unlike most springtails, is often found climbing the vegetation.
 
Finding one isn't difficult, providing you've got a beating tray, but you're definitely going to need a magnifying glass; they grow to a maximum of around half a millimetre long!
 
Photo of Katiannidae gen. nov. 1, sp. nov.
 
 
 
 

A fabulous time was had by all!

 
About 120 people braved the cold to join in with our first Llandrindod Community Wassail on Saturday 21 January 2017. Participants came from far and wide, including the Mari Lywd Ystradgynlais, drummers, singers, the Mayor of Llandrindod and the Llandrindod Town Crier. 
 
We hope the pictures give a flavour of the event. A brightly dressed procession went from the bandstand on Temple Gardens to the community orchard site on Alexandra playing fields. The participants decorated the trees with toast and ribbons and enjoyed mulled cider with orchard-themed nibbles. As darkness fell, Rhian Hill, acting as the Wassail Queen, gave the incantation before everyone joined in noisemaking to wake up the trees.
 
We could have done it without a grant from the wonderful Llandrindod Soup, as well as support from so many others, including the Town Council and Arvon Ales. Many, many thanks to all who helped out before and during the event!
 

Saturday 21st January 2017

All Welcome!

We invite you to the first annual Llandrindod Community Wassail! Come along and help to celebrate your community orchard and encourage the trees for the coming year. We're still firming up the details but this is the plan so far:
 
3:30pm - Noisy procession from the Bandstand to the Community Orchard - bring your shakers and drums and voices!
4pm - Tree dressing, music, hot drinks and snacks in the orchard.
5pm - Wassail ceremony, more music and general merriment.
6pm (ish) - Finish
 
What to bring:
  • A torch or lantern - it'll be dark by the time we're done, so make sure you bring a light of some kind with you.
  • A mug - there'll be a hot drink provided for everyone. We'll get some paper cups just in case, but to help us save on waste, please bring your own cup/mug/beaker if you can.
  • A slice or two of toast - yes really! We'll be hanging the trees with toast as an offering to the tree spirits and to the birds.
  • Brightly coloured ribbons - for dressing the trees with.
  • A noise maker (optional) - children especially are encouraged to bring a rattle, shaker or something to bang, to help us scare away any dark spirits that might be lurking!
  • A musical instrument (optional) - if you'd like to join in with the music making.
 
Dress code = WARM. Bright colours, garish patchwork, silly hats and cloaks are actively encouraged, but above all make sure you will be warm enough.
Make sure you wear suitable shoes for potentially wet and slippy ground!
 
If you'd like to get involved in organising the event or helping out on the day we'd love to hear from you! Just send us a message.
Check the Facebook event page for updates.

 
 

Autumn Planting Day - Saturday 22nd October 2016

Saturday saw people of all ages turning out to help plant more trees in the orchard. We now have 40 fruit and nut trees for the community to enjoy in the years to come, and there are even a few more in the pipeline which we weren't quite able to get in time for this planting!

Happy planters in the community orchard

 

 

 

A one day course

Saturday 17th September 2016, 10am – 4pm

at Trosnant, Llandrindod Wells and the Llandrindod Pomarium Community Orchard

We aim to manage the orchard in as sustainable way as possible and part of the maintenance we have to do is cutting the grass! To that end, we've organised a course in the orchard on scything, both for our volunteers and for anyone else who'd like to learn the technique to use in their own gardens or other projects. No prior experience necessary!
 
At the moment there is a scything revival in Britain. This wonderful tool is a great replacement for the mower or strimmer. 
It produces no noise, vibration or fumes & is a joy to use.  Scythes can cut tough plants such as brambles, bracken, nettles & saplings through to fine grasses, lawns & wild meadows.
 
This one day course covers:
  • How to set up the scythe for your body dimensions
  • Selecting the right blade for the job
  • Altering the angle of the blade
  • How to sharpen the blade
  • How to mow with ease & flow!
  • Later in the day we cover how to repair blades & have a go at ‘peening’ the blade with the peening jig. 
Austrian scythes will be available to use but if you have your own scythe feel free to bring it along. 
 
Our experienced tutor for the day is Andrea Gilpin, who also runs courses in her beautiful wildflower meadow near Presteigne, and teaches volunteers for the conservation charity Caring for God's Acre.
 
Thanks to the support of the Powys Transition and Low Carbon Communities network, we're able to subsidise the cost of the course for Powys residents. The fee for the day will be £20 if you live in Powys (£42 for others). Teas and coffees and all necessary equipment will be provided.

The course is now fully booked, but if you would be interested in doing a scything course in the future, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know, so that we can judge whether there is enough demand for us to put on another one.

 
 
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