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A fruitful Salford community orchard pie contest

Apples were sliced, pastry was rolled and pie dishes were most certainly at the ready at the first ever Salford community orchard pie contest at Ordsall Hall on Saturday 22nd October in honour of Apple Day, the annual celebration of Britain’s rich apple-growing heritage.
Salford local Jean Travis won the coveted ‘Best Apple Pie’ prize.

Organised by Helping Britain Blossom and the orchard leaders of Green Grovenor Park, Albert Park and Riverbank Park community orchards, the inaugural Salford Pie Contest, which coincided with Salford’s annual Food & Drink Festival, proved a huge success with bakers and visitors alike. The Apple Day celebration also featured a range of apple activities including juicing demos and fruit fun and games.

The pie contest was not just a test of the fruit pie-making skills of the people of Salford. It also aimed to raise awareness of Greater Manchester’s community orchards, including their social, environmental and enterprising benefits.

Helping Britain Blossom’s Greater Manchester project manager Dan Hasler, from The Orchard Project, explains:

“Everyone loves a home-baked fruit pie and with October being harvest-time for fruits such as apples and pears, we thought it would be a great idea to organise our own Bake-Off-style apple pie competition to coincide with Apple Day. We found Salford’s very own champion baker Jean Travis who, thanks to her prize-winning pie, now has £100 to spend in Cooksmill in Salford which should help her set up her own cottage industry!”

“We also spent the day highlighting the wonderful benefits that community orchards bring; from teaching people about where their food comes from, helping communities to learn new skills and meet new friends as well as the social enterprise opportunities they can create. We want to show there’s more to community orchards than fruit.”

Natalie Muresan, an Orchard Leader at Riverbank Park Community Orchard in Kersal and community development worker for Inspiring Communities Together has been an Orchard Leader for two years. She says:

“Our strapline for Salford’s community orchards is ‘creating better places to live’ and this apple pie contest is a great way of doing just that. It’s about keeping momentum and getting people thinking about community orchards and the benefits they bring. In that way people are more likely to care about them and want to look after them not only for this generation but for those to come too.”

Members of the Salford Angels Women’s Institute lent their expertise to judge the competition, alongside The Ceremonial Mayor of the City of Salford, Councillor Karen Garrido.

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Why Orchards Orchards have played an important role in our communities for hundreds of years, providing a communal space for gatherings and celebrations. Find an Orchard Our ambition by 2017 is to help 100 communities to plant, care for and restore their own orchards. And to get things going, we're focusing on cities and towns in seven parts of the UK